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Former City Clerk Sues City of Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Panama City Beach's former City Clerk has filed a whistle blower lawsuit against the City of Panama City Beach after submitting her letter of resignation to the city in July.
    
The former City Clerk, Diane Floyd, declined to speak to News 13 after she stepped down from her position, but made several claims about the city in the lawsuit she has filed. 

In the lawsuit, Floyd said she was pressured to quit because she questioned City Manager, Mario Gisbert, about the way she was instructed to treat some public records requests differently than others.

She also denies the city's claims that she resigned on her own because she could not keep up with the workload.

But Panama City Beach Mayor, Mike Thomas, stood by the city's original position. 

"I think she said she was just having a hard time keeping up with her job and it was during a time when we were getting a lot of public records requests and she could just not keep up with it I guess, and it frustrated her," he said.

Floyd also claimed Gisbert began giving her a heavier than usual workload after she questioned the unequal handling of the public records requests.

She says the heavier workload caused her to accidentally release Councilman Hector Solis's Social Security Number in one document request.

Two weeks later, Floyd claims that Gisbert told her she could resign, or be publicly fired at the next city council meeting.

Gisbert told News 13 that he was shocked when he learned of the lawsuit, while Mayor Thomas said he was not.
    
"Seems to be every time someone leaves a job now they sue somebody, but there are attorneys in this country that will take cases whether they're good or bad," Mayor Thomas said.

Floyd has hired Marie Mattox Law Firm in Tallahassee, who has represented many former Beach City employees.

"When you see a lawsuit from this particular law firm it's just hunting money," Mayor Thomas said.
    
News 13 called and emailed the Mattox Law Firm but has not received a reply.


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