A letter from Victoria Bateman, the city’s financial director, sparked the Cape Coral Mayor’s call for an investigation into the city manager. Cape Coral City Council approved the investigation after a meeting Thursday afternoon.
In her letter Bateman, who is now on administrative leave, alleges Szerlag and Murphy pressured her for more than a year to agree to various plans that she claims violate city policies and wasted public money.
“Without a doubt, she’s a whistle-blower,” said attorney Benjamin Yormak, Bateman’s lawyer.
Bateman’s lawyer told us exclusively, because his client refused, Szerlag and Murphy retaliated against her.
“She’s brought these issues to light. After doing all those things, then, she’s put on administrative leave,” Yormark said. “We don’t believe that’s coincidental and certainly would explore any and all legal options available to her if the city ultimately decides to terminate her employment.”