Madeira Beach turmoil continues

MADEIRA BEACH — The city is reeling from a bitterly fought election, continuing debate over controversial hotel projects, and now the replacement of the city clerk by the city manager's girlfriend.6 Days Ago6 Months Ago6 Months AgoAnd that was just Tuesday....

Madeira Beach turmoil continues

MADEIRA BEACH — The city is reeling from a bitterly fought election, continuing debate over controversial hotel projects, and now the replacement of the city clerk by the city manager's girlfriend.

6 Days Ago

6 Months Ago

6 Months Ago

And that was just Tuesday.

On Wednesday, City Manager Shane Crawford called an ethics complaint just filed against him "a personal vendetta" that is "full of lies."

The complaint, filed by part-time resident Bill Gay, alleges Crawford violated his employment contract with the city by owning and operating several private businesses.

Gay also alleges Crawford was improperly involved in a supposed city purchase of a boat owned by the late Commissioner Pat Shontz while he served as trustee for her late husband's estate.

That purchase never occurred and, in fact, the boat was sold to a party in Sarasota last summer, Crawford said, adding that his businesses, most of which were never activated, did not violate city rules.

Gay is among the residents fighting two major downtown hotel/condominium development proposals.

The commission unanimously approved final plans for the Madeira Beach Town Center hotel project Tuesday night. A final vote for the Holiday Isles Marina project is scheduled for March 7.

In an unrelated action, the commission unanimously accepted City Clerk Aimee Servideo's forced resignation. Servideo, who worked for the city for more than 30 years, was granted 20 weeks salary plus benefits, the maximum allowed by state law. She had been put on administrative leave this month after complaints from city department heads, city staff and Mayor Travis Palladeno.

Crawford then argued that by appointing his assistant and live-in girlfriend, Cheryl McGrady, the two were free to marry and continue working for the city.

McGrady is a longtime city employee, and at one time was deputy clerk under Denise Schlegel, who is now clerk in Dunedin. In addition to McGrady's previous job as executive assistant to the city manager, she has worked in the city's building and planning and zoning departments.

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