Bar complaint against Perry dismissed

Ricinda Perry
Ricinda Perry has been cleared of plagiarism allegations made by John Metz. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – The Florida Bar has dismissed a complaint that Bradenton Beach resident and former Planning and Zoning Board member John Metz filed against City Attorney Ricinda Perry.

In the complaint filed last summer, Metz alleged that Perry plagiarized The Florida Planning Officials Handbook in a July 28 email she sent to him and the other planning board members. The email cautioned them to adhere to quasi-judicial hearing procedures and the Florida Sunshine Law when reviewing the Bridge Tender Inn’s efforts to bring its Dockside Bar into full compliance with city code.

“After careful consideration, I conclude that there is insufficient evidence that Ms. Perry has violated any of the rules adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida which govern attorney discipline,” said the Nov. 21 letter from Florida Bar Executive Director John Harkness.

During their Dec. 7 meeting, Perry told city commissioners the complaint was dismissed.

“Again Mr. Metz lost,” she said, referencing previous unsuccessful legal actions and informal complaints Metz has initiated against the city and its residents.

Perry said she spent $5,000 on the attorney who defended her against Metz’s Bar complaint. She said she would not ask the city to cover those legal expenses, even though they were incurred while providing legal services to the city and its Planning and Zoning Board.

“I don’t like the idea of you having to pay for this,” Mayor John Chappie said, suggesting the possible reimbursement of Perry’s personal legal expenses be discussed at a future meeting.

“Thank you. It’s a generous consideration, but I’m not going to make that request of you,” Perry said.

“That’s horrible,” Commissioner Jake Spooner said of Metz’s actions.