Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Court Rules in Favor of County Manager 

 

 

In a decision the Second District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Collier County Manager Leo Ochs, former Procurement Services Director Joanne Markiewicz, and the Board of County Commissioners in the lawsuit filed by Collier County Clerk Dwight Brock over the County’s procurement policies. The court issued a per curiam affirmance, agreeing with Circuit Court Judge James R. Shenko’s February ruling in favor of the County.

Collier County Clerk Dwight Brock sued the County Manager and the Procurement Services Director in April 2015 claiming they could not make purchases under $50,000 as authorized by the Board of County Commissioners in its procurement ordinance. Brock argued in his lawsuit that the Board of County Commissioners cannot delegate their purchasing authority to anyone.

Collier County countersued in August 2015, arguing that its purchasing policy, which had been in effect for decades and is used by the majority of counties in the state, was valid, legal and necessary to keep government operating efficiently and effectively.

Judge Shenko sided with the County in February, ruling that the County’s Purchasing Ordinance is lawful; and that the County Manager and his designees have the lawful authority to make purchases, and enter into contracts for purchases under $50,000 pursuant to the County’s Purchasing Ordinance and that such authority was properly delegated by the Board of County Commissioners.

“I am pleased but not surprised that the appellate court agreed with the lower court and upheld Judge Shenko’s ruling in favor of Collier County,” said County Manager Leo Ochs. “Collier County has used this policy for decades without a problem. It is shameful that more than $1 million taxpayer dollars were wasted in the Clerk’s pursuit of this frivolous lawsuit.”

For more information, contact Mike Sheffield at MichaelSheffield@colliergov.net.

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