Former Parker City Council candidate sues for ‘character assassination’


PARKER, FLA. (WMBB) — Former Parker City Council candidate Ken Thomas is suing City Council members April Gibson and Tonya Barrow for defamation.

On March 16, Gibson claimed that Thomas attempted to bribe her. At the time both were running for Seat 3 of the City Council. 

Thomas is suing for damages of over $30,000 after Gibson accused him of bribery, official misconduct, and unlawful compensation.

Gibson claimed that Thomas asked her to drop out of the election, to save them both time and money. In return, Thomas would secure her a position on the City Planning Commission. 

In a statement to the City Council on March 16, Thomas said “there were no promises made, there was no bribes or nothing of any kind.”

Barrow declined to comment on the lawsuit and neither Thomas nor Gibson responded to interview requests.

In the lawsuit Thomas alleges Gibson accused him of bribery in multiple news interviews and radio appearances.

Thomas’ lawsuit goes on to say that Gibson and Barrow met with Bay County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Andersen, who told them both that Thomas’ conversation with Gibson was not illegal or improper.

As a member of the planning commission, Thomas did not have the power to appoint another commission member. Thomas is suing Gibson for actual and compensatory damages and punitive damages.

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