Judge William Stone has given County Clerk Pam Childers 20 days to show cause why the relief requested by the Board of County Commissioners concerning the 401(a) retirement plan should not be granted.
Childers stopped making payments to the plan for Commissioners Steven Barry, Robert Bender and Lumon May last month. Read more.
Here is the relief the commissioners are seeking:
1. Declare that the County/ICMA contract, as amended over the years, is lawful and currently in force.
2. Declare that the Clerk’s compliance with the Board’s directives concerning employer contributions for its Local Plan is a ministerial duty of the Clerk, not an act in which the Clerk has any discretion.
3. Declare that the Clerk has no discretion to interpret the terms of the County/ICMA contract, and no discretion to disagree with or take any steps to interfere with the performance of that contract.
4. Issue an alternative writ in mandamus, pursuant to Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.630(d)(2), directing the Clerk to show cause why the Court should not enter a writ of mandamus requiring the Clerk to:
a. Take all steps necessary to comply with the contract between the County and ICMA, including making the employer contributions for those Elected Officers who are opted into the Local Plan, and doing so at the rate set in the contract (the “FRS Rate” as defined in this complaint).
b. Make the necessary contributions to resolve the shortfall caused by the Clerk’s unilateral decision to cut the contribution rate during 2021 and the Clerk’s unilateral decision to stop making contributions entirely during 2022.
c. Refrain from seeking re-payment or compensation from Commissioners Bender, May and Barry for past employer contributions made by the County under the local program.
5. After appropriate due process, issue a final writ in mandamus incorporating the same relief sought here.
6. Reserve jurisdiction to enforce the Court’s orders.
7. Order any other relief that the Court finds just and appropriate.
More on Jeff Bergosh’s blog here.