Home Feature Headline Former Apopka lobbyist Anderson answers city suit, files counterclaim

Former Apopka lobbyist Anderson answers city suit, files counterclaim

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In a court document filed this week, former Apopka city administrator and lobbyist Richard Anderson has not only answered the city’s allegations from its second complaint filed against him, but he has filed a counterclaim against the city, saying that Apopka breached the terms of its lobbying contract with him by firing him as a lobbyist and damaged him in the process following an April 2016 crash involving his truck.

Anderson’s answers to the city’s allegations that he violated the terms of his contract and his counterclaim against the city were filed Monday, May 15, by his new attorney, Michael D. Jones of Winter Springs.

In its second complaint against Anderson, 62, filed in March, the city listed 58 allegations against Anderson, who was serving as a lobbyist and special-projects manager at the time after he had retired as the city administrator.

Apopka’s original suit against Anderson was dismissed on February 22 by Circuit Court Judge Julie H. O’Kane, but she allowed the city to re-file the second complaint, which the city did on March 13.

The city sued Anderson for $155,000, which is double the amount that Anderson would have been paid had the contract been fulfilled by its completion date of mid-September 2016. He was fired by the city from the lobbyist job on June 1, 2016, after he was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Many of the allegations in the second complaint by the city are administrative in nature, but allegation No. 30 states that Anderson “materially defaulted and breached” the contract with the city by not reporting the wreck involving his truck or that he was under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol for the wreck that occurred April 5, 2016, on State Road 46 in Lake County.

Anderson was accused of being the driver of his truck during the wreck and leaving the scene of the crash that injured Michael Scott Falcon of Grand Island, a small community in Lake County.

However, prosecutors said they couldn’t prove that Anderson was behind the wheel of his truck and, as part of a plea deal last month, Anderson pleaded no contest to charges filed against him by the Florida Highway Patrol. He received three years felony probation and had his driver’s license suspended for three years.

Judge Lawrence J. Semento also withheld adjudication, meaning Anderson will not have a felony record if he successfully completes his probation.

Anderson has also settled a civil suit that Falcon filed against him. Terms of that settlement were not made public.

The full story can be found on page 1A of the Friday, May 19, issue of The Apopka Chief