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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

BREAKING: #HollywoodFL - Contentious City Comm meeting: City Manager Ishmael directed to negotiate a separation agreement for City Atty. Jeffrey Sheffel

Developing story...

The Hollywood City Commission was set to reconvene at 4:30 today after contentious 1:00 PM City Commission meeting results in call by Comm. Richard Blattner -supported by Commissioners Traci Callari and Peter Hernandez-  for Hollywood City Manager Wazir Ishmael to enter into negotiations with City Attorney Jeff Sheffel for the purposes of creating a separation agreement for Sheffel, following months of drama and reports of chronic complaints in his office.


These reports included unhappiness with turnover within City Attorney's office due to existing culture there -i.e. Sheffel himselfSheffel's arrest in March for DUI,  and 
more recently, as was discussed at length today, an email from the Assistant City Manager to Sheffel alleging that the City Attorney's Office was behind in paying legal bills to outside counsel defending the city, and also was exceeding his spending authorization in settlements.

Much debate on what true facts were and whether facts were subject to interpretation. 
No seemed to be the consensus - the facts are black and white.

City Attorney Sheffel later said he was short-staffed and that was part of the cause for some of the highlighted problems but Comm. Traci Callari quickly shot back that the reason that he and his office were short-staffed was directly because of his own actions and behavior at the manager.

In his motion, later rescinded after Sheffel agreed to meet with Dr. Ishmael, Blattner was supported by longtime Sheffel opponents Callari and Peter Hernandez, who called for Sheffel to resign at the first City Comm. meeting following his March arrest. 

Publicly supporting Sheffel at the meeting were Mayor Josh Levy and Comm. Debra Case,
while Commissioners Kevin Biederman & Linda Sherwood seemed more on the fence but not at all happy at the various reports.

Update: Before the end of the second half of the 4:30 PM session, Hollywood City Manager Wazir Ishmael announced that he and the City Attorney Sheffel have reached a meeting of the minds regarding a Separation Agreement.
Commissioner Traci Callari made clear following this bit of news that she would like to discuss this development in more depth at the next City Commission meeting, on June 7th.
May 31st, 2017 Update
I will be updating this story tonight with some insight and quotes from from some of the parties involved, including their public comments during the early afternoon meeting, where I was the only person from the media(!) present.
CBS-4 News came by for the continuation after I sent them an email.

I had the opportunity to talk to Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy for a bit following the recent Young Circle Roadway Study at the Lippman Multi-Purpose Center, and naturally, the situation with the City Attorney was one of the subjects we discussed. 
Also in attendance Thursday night at the event were Hollywood Commissioners Debra Case and Richard Blattner.

From the City of Hollywood:

UPDATED: Meetings of the City Commission
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Special City Commission Meeting and a City Commission Workshop have been planned for Tuesday, June 6th at City Hall in Room 215. The meeting is at 3:00 p.m. regarding a separation agreement with the City Attorney and the workshop is at 4:00 p.m. regarding the proposed Safety Enhancement District in Emerald Hills. City Commission meetings and workshops are broadcast on the City’s Government Access Channel, Comcast Channel 78, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 and streamed online on the City’s website at 

http://www.hollywoodfl.org/146/Watch-Commission-Meetings [http://www.hollywoodfl.org/146/Watch-Commission-Meetings 

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