INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - It appears that the city will be proceeding with the lawsuit involving Al Grieshaber, the former city manager, but maybe without the benefit of insurance.
The latest development indicates that the insurance coverage usually provided through Florida League of Cities (which is basically an insurance company as well as a lobbyist for municipalities) does not cover the types of action involved in the Grieshaber matter.
In the first instance, the city is seeking to recoup funds that it maintains Grieshaber should not have received.
Grieshaber, now the manager of a quasi political district near Sebring called Sun 'n Lake, has filed a counter claim seeking vacation money he says is due him.
IRB filed a motion to dismiss the Grieshaber counter claim last week.
One aspect of the case that leading figures in Indian Rocks Beach have insisted on is that there be no settlement that does not fully divulge all the facts in the Grieshaber case.
"The last thing we want," one prominent citizen said, "is for any of this to be swept under the rug on the basis of 'We're tired of it and want to move on.' Nothing doing."
Another glitch in the litigation scene is that Andy Salzman, the city's lawyer, has said he would not be able to represent the city because he is a possible witness in the Grieshaber case.
If, in fact, Salzman is not able to work the case, a substitute is needed and this brings up again the move by Commissioner Jose Coppen to put out a request for proposal from other law firms to step in.
That was back on April 10 but little, other than some preliminary work by the city staff, has been done.
In fact, Mayor Bill Ockunzzi is on record - mysteriously - for not wanting any meeting between the commission and Salzman to review the legal situation.
Coppen says, "An attorney-client (city) meeting is in order to review the strategy (on the Grieshaber suit), handle our defense (of Grieshaber's counter claim) and for a full discovery process."
Coppen emphasizes the last element.
Another legal matter is the Whitehurst Avenue case that involved what turns out to be a spurious dispute over what is IRB property at the border with Indian Shores to the south.
A thorough review of that situation revealed early on that there was no "confusion" over the boundary there, but Ockunzzi persisted in and promoted that notion.
Salzman wrapped it up within the last two weeks with his findings from surveys and title searches that there was, in fact, absolutely no confusion. The land clearly belongs to IRB.
The lingering question is why would IRB's mayor persist in a position that seems to be inimical to Indian Rocks Beach's interest, including participating near the outset of the whole business in a memorandum being prepared for a private developer who laid claim to a portion of the land in dispute?