Dania Beach

Dania Beach commissioner resigns after residency dispute

 

gcherelus@miamiherald.com

Two years ago, Patrick Phipps challenged Pat Flury for her seat on the Dania Beach Commission — and lost.

But on Tuesday night, Flury threw in the towel, saying she was tired of Phipps following her around with his camera, watching her every move .

“I am submitting my resignation to the city manager effective immediately,” said Flury, who had previously served as the city’s mayor.

The issue Phipps was trying to document was whether Flury was a resident of the city she served.

Last July, Flury sold her Dania Beach home. She splits her time between a home in the Keys and a townhouse within the Dania Beach city limits that she rents.

But Phipps questioned how much time she stays in her rental home, saying she spends more time at the home of her partner in Fort Lauderdale.

“You come to Dania Beach and make decisions for the residents and then go back home to Fort Lauderdale,” Phipps said. “I don’t think that’s fair.

“Everyone knew she wasn’t a resident and she continued to make $20,000 from Dania Beach residents,” Phipps added. “My partner would go to her house after work and she was never there, at least not four days out of the week.”

Phipps began waiting outside her home, filming her comings and goings, Flury said.

She went to court to request a restraining order, but the judge denied it.

“Since no physical harm had been done to me, the judge asked if we would make an effort to work things out,” Flury said.

Things didn’t get any better.

Flury’s breaking point came when she became concerned that her family would be affected by Phipps accusations that she was unethical.

The crowd at the meeting was shocked at Flury’s announcement that she was stepping down effective immediately.

“I understand why she did what she had to do,” said Commissioner Anne Castro. “She was chased out of the office.”

Phipps said Wednesday that Flury made the right decision to resign immediately.

“I love this city, I really try to give it my all,” Phipps said. “People ask me if I am a stalker of Pat Flury and I say ‘No, I am a stalker of the truth.’”

The Dania Beach City Charter states that the commission has 60 days to find a replacement. The new person will need the approval of three out of four commissioners.

Flury has no plans to change her mind during that 60-day period.

She plans to spend her newfound free time studying music, fishing, playing golf and spending time with her family and in the Keys.

“I am 76 years old so I have to get it all in,” Flury said. “I can’t waste time looking over my shoulder.”

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