Atlantic Beach Commissioners Fire, Rehire City Attorney | News
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- It was standing room only and then some at the Atlantic Beach City Commission meeting Monday.
Around 100 residents waiting to speak their peace on the termination of City Attorney Alan Jensen.
The City Commissioners voted 3-2 to fire Jensen at the Jan. 23 meeting, without cause, sparking outrage from many people in the community.
"First, I want to personally and professionally apologize to you publicly about how the termination of your contract was handled," said Commissioner Maria Mark.
"I take full responsibility and I apologize to each and every one of you," said Commissioner Carolyn Woods.
It was apologies all around from the three Atlantic Beach City Commissioners who voted to terminate Jensen without cause at that late January meeting.
Taken by surprise, Jensen and residents questioned why he was fired.
"With no notice, no cause, and without a backup plan for this city's legal matters," said one resident.
"He has a right to know and we as citizens have a right to know what caused this action," said another.
It was more than standing room only as people stood outside the meeting room for more than two hours to speak out the dismissal, nearly bringing the attorney to tears.
"It's been very humbling and heart warming to receive the support I have gotten from so many people," said Jensen.
The City Commissioners eventually decided to rescind the termination, only for Commissioner Woods to put up another motion to dismiss him again. At one point Woods even asked the city attorney his opinion on whether or not they could legally fire him.
In the end, they decided to let the crowd, and the commissioners cool off, and talk about it again at their next meeting.