A move to fire the Sarasota City Auditor and Clerk with cause failed Monday afternoon after some details of her financial situation were revealed.
City Commissioner Terry Turner moved to dismiss Auditor and Clerk Pamela Nadalini after the cost of her surety bond was found to be more than 20 times the amount of the city manager's bond. The cost of the surety bonds by insurance agencies are determined by the individual's financial situation and credit ratings.
Instead, the City Commission voted 4-1 to approve surety bonds for the three positions. Surety bonds are required by the City Charter for charter officials, and those bond are in place to gaurantee their performance for their duties.
City voters defeated a housekeeping charter amendment in the Nov. 6 general election that would have allowed a basic insurance plan to be acquired in lieu of a surety bond.
Nadalini's insurance through United States Fire Insurance Co. would cost $9,350 a year whereas surety bonds for City Manager's Tom Barwin costs $444 and the finance director would cost $507 a year.
"A charter official who may pay 20 times the normal cost of a bond clearly does not meet the character and integrity thresholds that our city requires,: Turner said.
During Turner's statement, Nadalini glared at him and rolled her eyes and shook her head as he mentioned that Nadalini had allegedly ran a real estate business out of her city office, violating her terms of employment.
Turner said Nadalini's side business had caused "each of us to violate our oath of office."
Turner said he was moving to dismiss her after the surety bond rates revealed "quantitative evidence regarding her character and integrity."
The Observer reported in June that there was one possible reason that could have negatively affected her finances:
The only reasonable answer that’s recorded in the Sarasota County Courthouse is a foreclosure that was filed against her and her ex-husband in February 2010 for a Sarasota property at 1424 18th St. in Hillcrest Park.
Nadalini and her ex-husband defaulted on the $175,000 loan in July 2009, and the bank sought the balance of the loan, or $171,049.22, plus interest and late charges, according to Sarasota Clerk of the Circuit Court Records.
But on March 23, 2010, Wells Fargo submitted to the court a notice to voluntarily dismiss the case.
Nadalini, who didn’t return phone calls seeking comment for this story, has conveyed that the issue was vetted appropriately in 2010 and she doesn’t know why she wasn’t able to obtain a bond.
"Her known activities on the job and her unknown personal activities, which are causing such a high bonding cost further disqualify her service as auditor and clerk," Turner said.
The commission did not offer any comment to Turner's failed motion or for their motion to purchase the surety bonds.
Nadalini issued a vague statement during staff reports expressing her thanks for people being on her side.
"Thank you to many of those who have exprese support fro the department, for me and for the staff," she said.
Nadalini was denied a surety bond twice and now, Nadalini will be insured, which Turner said should not be allowable. Nadalini needed a surety bond when promoted to her current position in 2010.
The official reasons for Nadalini's denial of bonds are not released by the bond agencies.
Turner had backed another amendent during the general election that would have stripped Nadalin's powers and that amendment failed. Turner announced last week that he will not run for re-election.
This version corrects the result of a charter referendum vote.