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Date of Issue: March 15, 2007

Mc Adam resigns in wake of sex harassment complaint

Ed Mc Adam has resigned as building official in Bradenton Beach after a sexual harassment charge was levied against him by the city’s code enforcement officer.

In a terse, undated letter to Mayor John Chappie, code enforcement officer Gail M. Garneau wrote, "Please be advised that I am filing a formal complaint against the city of Bradenton Beach for sexual harassment by the building official, Ed Mc Adam."

Mc Adam was placed on administrative leave Feb. 23, and Garneau took leave from her job a few days earlier.

Mc Adam tendered his resignation March 8, which city commissioners accepted without comment in an emergency meeting.

City Clerk Nora Idso was directed to begin the process of advertising for a new building official at that same meeting, with salary and other benefits yet to be determined.

City attorney Ricinda Perry conducted the investigation into the Mc Adam-Garneau matter. She did not respond to repeated requests by The Islander to comment on the matter, and neither did Mc Adam or Garneau.

"I have been proud to be a part of the city of Bradenton Beach government," Mc Adam said in his resignation letter, "most importantly, working for excellent city commissioners, who have dedicated many hours of their time for the benefit of city residents.

"On Oct. 28, 2004, Mayor Chappie asked me to come out of retirement to utilize my management and professional skills to renew confidence in the planning, building and code enforcement aspects of the city government. Hopefully, I have achieved that goal.

"In December 2006, at the age of 68 years, I completed over 50 years of public service in a wide variety of major management and professional positions in state, county and city governments," Mc Adam continued in his letter. "There is never a good time for any of us to resign or retire. There are always new challenges, new projects and new assignments to be done, and new deadlines to meet."

Mc Adam lauded city staff in his letter, "especially the fine staff of the planning and development department."

Mc Adam, was employed by Manatee County government in a variety of administrative positions, including head of public works, project management, wastewater and project engineer departments, from 1985 to 2003. He received outstanding remarks on his personnel evaluation forms during his tenure with the county.

At Bradenton Beach, he received $83,200 a year in salary, or $40 per hour.

Garneau, 51, was hired by Mc Adam in July 2005 and received excellent marks by him in a recent job evaluation. She is paid about $23,300 annually.

The construction, inspection, testing and consulting firm of M.T Causley Inc. has been retained by the city for "supplemental plans review and inspection services" for the city for "as long as needed."

The company, based in Homestead, Fla., will provide its services to the city on a staggered scale of pay, depending on the services requested, ranging from certified building official tasks on a part-time basis at $85 per hour to plans examiner from $68 to $78.50 per hour. If licensed professional architects-engineers are required, the hourly charge to the city will be $140.

"I hope that we won’t drag this out a year like the last time," Chappie said of the hiring of a new building official.

Bradenton Beach has been through numerous building officials in the past few years, including a long vacancy before Mc Adam was hired.

During that period, the services of the city of Holmes Beach and Manatee County were utilized at an hourly rate of pay based on the staff salary of the person providing the service.