Indian River Shores Mayor Brian Barefoot and Councilman Richard Haverland pleaded no contest today to charges they engaged in email correspondence in violation of Florida’s open government laws. Both officials were fined $200.
Though a long list of defendants were on the court docket today, Barefoot and Haverland appeared first before the judge. Both men read lengthy, prepared statements which addressed, not their email correspondences, but the Town’s lawsuit against the City of Vero Beach.
A plea of no contest is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty or not guilty. It generally means that, while you do not admit your guilt, you do admit the truth of the facts alleged. So, I guess that takes care of that….And to think they used this public moment to rail on the City regarding their lawsuit. An astute judge would have sat them down right after the plea.
“Morgan said that someone with Barefoots’s education and experience ‘knows what he needs to know to abide by the law.'”
That was a beautiful retort.