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Cape Coral city manager escapes firing

Posted at 11:35 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 07:09:52-05

CAPE CORAL, FLA. — Cape Coral's city council voted to keep the city manager, John Szerlag, on the job Monday night.

That's after several hours of discussion as to whether or not he should be fired or put on paid leave, pending several investigations.

This all stems from a special meeting last week where it was revealed that the city manager was linked to four different investigations.

Those investigations are being carried out by several city agencies and they're all looking into different things.

One of those things involves the mishandling of city payroll taxes and the city manager's knowledge of the incident.

Last week it was also revealed that the city manager is being accused of trying to coerce a finance department employee to do unethical and potentially illegal things.

Those accusations and media coverage of them led to heated debate tonight between council members, who feel that it may have ruined Szerlag's reputation.

"Maybe we should go ahead and terminate without cause and let you ride out into the sunset and us do the task that we voted on last week to find a replacement," said councilwoman Jennifer Nelson.

That motion ultimately failed.

But the council did approve investigations into those recent accusation by the FDLE and an outside attorney.