Sarasota News Leader

01/03/2014

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LOOKING BACK YEAR IN REVIEW: DECEMBER The City Commission agrees to let Parkers Books on Main Street put a table or two out front on the recently widened sidewalk, so people can play chess or conduct book signings. Photo by Norman Schimmel The Sarasota City Commission on Dec. 2 agrees to extend the time it will pay for the defense of Commissioner Susan Chapman in a suit charging she violated the state's open meetings law. City Attorney Bob Fournier opens the discussion by changing the recommendation he previously made to the board. He had offered the commission three options: pay all of the legal fees for Chapman, pay installments or wait and see. The law requires full payment from the city if Chapman succeeds in her defense. On Dec. 2, he endorses one of his options. "Authorize the full payment of Commissioner Chapman's attorney's fees, win or lose. If you have some discomfort, make it six-month or quarterly payments." Commissioner Paul Caragiulo moves to "extend payment of fees for the next 90 days." Vice Mayor Willie Shaw seconds the motion, and it passes 3-1, with Mayor Shannon Snyder in the minority. Commissioner Suzanne Atwell also is in the majority on the action. City Commissioner Susan Chapman will continue to have her legal fees paid in a Sunshine lawsuit. Photo by Stan Zimmerman

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