Florida mayor resigns with mass email to residents alleging corruption in small-town government

Madeira Beach Mayor Jim Rostek sent an explosive email when he resigned June 14.

A Florida mayor abruptly resigned after outlining a pattern of "corruptive behavior" throughout the small town's government in an explosive letter to all its residents last Friday.

"What is going on with this small town is all wrong," now-former Madeira Beach Mayor Jim Rostek told Fox 13 on Wednesday. "I am sorry that I have to walk away. It is for my health. Please keep up the fight. I will always try to have your back. Please continue to do what's right."

Rostek's allegations pointed to City Manager Robin Ignacio Gomez and his "discretionary" and "discriminatory" code enforcement, per the June 14 letter reviewed by Fox News Digital. 


Jim Rostek

Madeira Beach Mayor Jim Rostek resigned on June 14 and sent a letter accusing his city government of "corruptive practices" to all the community's residents. (Fox 13 Tampa)

"I am sorry to leave. But with a city manager as such, I cannot be or have any part of Gomez’s corrupt behavior, talking in circles, lies, preferential treatment of ‘some’ or discriminatory enforcement practices. As well as the everyday wasting of the tax-payers' money and trying to justify it," Rostek wrote. "In the end, some will go up to the pearly gates and some won’t. I will always do what is ethical and correct, others not so much."

Gomez allegedly ignored Rostek's requests to establish a life jacket policy, a smoking policy and a formal prohibition on cell phone usage for municipal employees who are operating city boats and vehicles, the resigning mayor claimed.

"I had a resident take pictures of the code enforcement boat, with people riding around on it doing their job, I guess, no life jackets on," Rostek added. "The smoking policy … I see one or two of them smoking in city vehicles. There’s federal law about that stuff. He refuses to implement policy."


Madeira Beach Mayor Jim Rostek described himself as a stickler for ethics and safety, and said that contending with the alleged mismanagement caused him recurring health issues.

Madeira Beach Mayor Jim Rostek described himself as a stickler for ethics and safety, and said that contending with the alleged mismanagement caused him recurring health issues. (Google Maps)

Rostek complained that he had seen city sanitation workers holding onto the back of a truck with one hand and texting with the other. 

"[Gomez is very well-liked by employees because, in my mind, it’s ‘Camp Run Amok,'" he said. "We're supposed to set an example for the public."

Rostek also alleges that his former colleagues practiced technically-legal but unethical financial techniques. They avoided commission approval on projects totaling over $30,000 by negotiating multiple line-item contracts at lesser amounts instead of issuing a Request for Proposals, he claims.


Madeira Beach City Manager Robin Gomez.

Madeira Beach City Manager Robin Gomez had his contract renewed until 2028 by the city's commission this week. (City of Madeira Beach)

Attached to the June 14 email was a separation agreement between Gomez and the city of Clarkston, Georgia. The document, dated Sept. 7, 2021, outlines Gomez's voluntary resignation as city manager there and states that he and city officials cannot discuss his career there with other parties. 

Rostek explained to Fox 13 that he is a stickler for ethics, safety and the city's liability, and that his stress in contending with his former colleagues resulted in multiple health scares. 

"I told him, ‘talk is cheap,'" Rostek said. "I said, 'you need to have policy to back up what you've told them, because when it comes time for a lawsuit, we're not going to have any ammunition to substantiate,’" he told the outlet. "If you don’t get the small things right, what about the big things?"

"God only knows what else is going on," he continued. "You don't know what you don't know until you start looking and digging deeper."

Anne-Marie Brooks, a former District 4 commissioner for Madeira Beach, replaced Rostek after his resignation.

Anne-Marie Brooks, a former District 4 commissioner for Madeira Beach, replaced Rostek after his resignation. (City of Madeira Beach)

In an email to Fox 13, Gomez denied Rostek's assertions. 

"While entitled to his opinions, the city has provided answers and resolutions to the comments although not completely supported/agreed/understood by Mr. Rostek," Gomez wrote. "It is unfortunate that the disagreements and misunderstandings of city processes and policies by Mr. Rostek led him to state/list claims of corruption, which are simply baseless and false."

"We continue to perform our daily tasks and responsibilities pursuant to federal, state, county and city laws/ordinances/statutes in the most ethical manner," he continued.

Anne-Marie Brooks, previously a city commissioner, has stepped up as Madeira Beach's mayor in Rostek's absence. 

Gomez wrote that city administrators would hold a special meeting to fill her now-vacant seat on the commission next week. 

Commissioners just voted to restore Gomez's contract until 2028, according to TBN Weekly. 

Meanwhile, Rostek told Fox 13 that he hopes "someone at the state level makes contact with [him]" about the alleged corruption in the small town. 

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