Florida Mayor Knocked Out at Town Council Meeting
Published March 23, 2011
A town council meeting in Florida was abruptly interrupted when the mayor was attacked and knocked to the ground, Fox 35 reported Tuesday night.
Town of Windermere’s mayor Gary Bruhn got into a shouting match with the town manager’s husband. The meeting was adjourned, and police officers evacuated the building, but before the room was cleared, someone punched or pushed Bruhn, knocking him to the ground.
Paramedics arrived and transported the major to a nearby hospital, which was later placed on lockdown.
The altercation comes a day after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released its findings into an investigation of Town of Windermere’s police department. The FDLE report revealed that money, weapons and confiscated drugs were missing from the department's evidence and property locker. FDLE announced additional charges levied against Daniel Saylor, the town’s police chief.
The details of meeting’s fight are still unclear. Earlier in the evening, Mayor Bruhn suggested in an address that the council fire Town Manager Cecelia Bernier. He cited several of the FDLE findings regarding mismanagement of evidence and an accusation that Bernier even voided traffic citations for people she knew.
"Our residents' safety was compromised by tickets being voided, cases dropped and our reputation tarnished," he said.
Windermere police officers told Fox 35 that they believe the mayor was punched, or pushed, by the husband of the town manager. The mayor offered a motion that Bernier be removed. No one would second the motion so it died, which means that for now, Bernier retains her position.
The council wanted to talk about the issue some more and never voted on it. That's when Bernier's husband went to the podium and made some statements.
Bernier's husband left the police department Tuesday night after being questioned. He wouldn't answer any questions from the media. It is still unclear if he will be charged or arrested. Authorities are still investigating.
Town of Windermere was also in the media in 2009 when Tiger Woods crashed his SUV in the affluent Orange County community.
Last year, Saylor was arrest after FDLE agents said he used his position to hinder a sexual battery investigation against one of his friends. Saylor, 44, was charged with one count of giving unlawful compensation for official behavior, a second-degree felony, and one count official misconduct, a third-degree felony.