CAPE CORAL, Fla. – City Council member Richard Leon, who has spoken openly in opposition to Mayor Marni Retzer, has requested an investigation on the mayor ahead of plans to file an ethics complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Leon said his concerns are not related to Retzer’s relationship with her husband, a city firefighter against whom she had filed a restraining order back in May. The couple was married less than two months later. Instead, Leon told The News-Press he’s raising questions about whether Retzer received gifts from Brian Rist, a business owner with whom she was romantically involved.
Leon showed WINK News receipts for thousands of dollars worth of jewelry that Rist is to have given Retzer. Retzer was also driving Rist’s company car and living in a condo she rented from Rist, Leon said.
Rist, who owns the hurricane protection company Storm Smart, and Leon disagree on whether Rist qualifies as a vendor who’s done business with the city, according to The News-Press. StormSmart has sponsored the city’s Red, White and Boom Fourth of July celebrations, but Leon conceded to WINK News that he doesn’t believe Rist’s company benefited from his relationship with the mayor.
Leon also contends Retzer should have recused herself from a unanimous vote in March that placed Rist on the Cape Coral Construction Regulation Board, according to The News-Press.
Retzer denies any wrongdoing. Other council members are expected to receive the paperwork regarding the investigation today.
No further information was immediately available.