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"FREE THE CITY:" Workers blast Ft Myers City Manager, Asst. City Manager

An email to the city council from an anonymous group of city workers demanded the leaders be fired for fostering a culture of favoritism & discrimination against women and minorities.
Marty Lawing
Posted at 8:12 PM, Jan 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-04 18:16:02-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Trouble was brewing in Fort Myers late Wednesday as word traveled of a surprise letter that blasted the city manager and called for his job.

A letter claiming to represent an anonymous group of city employees was sent to Mayor Kevin Anderson and the entire council via email the night before.

Marty Lawing

Mayor Kevin Anderson read part of the anonymous letter to Fox 4's Ft Myers Community Correspondent Briana Brownlee.

"In the past year numerous highly qualified and respected leaders mostly women and minorities have been left no other choice but to leave their roles with the city because they could no longer deal with the hostile culture of intimidation," Mayor Anderson read.

City Employees letter to mayor and council 1

The letter accused City Manager Marty Lawing and Assistant City Manager John Lege of creating a culture of favoritism and discrimination inside city government.

City Employees letter to mayor and council

"I interact with the city manager on a daily basis," Mayor Anderson said. "I have never seen him exhibit any behavior that would concern me about how he treats employees."

Lawing's office declined to comment about the letter, but Mayor Anderson said it was short on specifics. He said when it comes to government, there's high turnover and the allegations appalled him.

When asked why would someone send the email, Mayor Anderson said he believes it's a disgruntled employee.

City employee letter to council and mayor 3

"Bring forward facts, not general accusations," Mayor Anderson said. "To hide behind a computer and a false email address... I think that is despicable."

Lawing took over the role as city manager in June of 2021.

Anderson said this was the first time during his tenure as mayor that he's experienced this kind of event.

"If I thought there was something to this I would be out there leading the charge," Mayor Anderson said.

The mayor said he didn't feel the letter provided enough specifics to warrant an investigation; however, that decision was ultimately up to the entire city council.

Stick with Fox 4 News to see how this story develops.