Hardeeville city attorney resigns after dispute with mayor Bronco Bostick

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJune 20, 2013 

Long-time Hardeeville city attorney David Tedder has resigned from the position after a disagreement with Mayor Bronco Bostick, according to a council member and the town's city manager.

"They didn't get along at a meeting and the mayor decided it was maybe a good time to replace him," Councilman Sal Arzillo said.

The resignation came after a closed-door, executive session of the City Council on May 24. But the argument that spurred the action came earlier in the month.

"It was over a small lawsuit -- I say small -- a city employee, a police officer who was terminated," Arzillo said.

Bostick could not be reached about the disagreement. Tedder declined to comment.

Minutes and video from May 3 show Bostick and Tedder arguing multiple times, with the most heated parts over testimony that witnesses had given in depositions.

Bostick wanted to see the depositions. Tedder said neither he nor city manager Bob Nanni had them, according to the minutes. Further, Tedder said the issue needed to be discussed in executive session because the city was under a confidentiality order.

Bostick told Tedder he wanted the depositions and he expected Tedder to provide them, to which Tedder said he would not violate a federal judge order and risk losing his license.

Bostick said he wanted transparency and there were too many problems in the city and "there is always a cover up," according to the minutes. Tedder said nothing was covered up and he was trying to protect the city from liability, as the court said information in the depositions needs to be kept private, such as that relating to health care.

No video or notes are available of the May 24 meeting, which was closed to the public because a personnel issue was being discussed.

"You can't fire the mayor, so someone has to go," Arzillo said.

When council members returned to chambers after ending the executive session, Bostick announced that a decision had been made during the session and asked for a council member to make a motion, according to the minutes. Councilwoman Sherry Carroll moved for the council to accept Tedder's resignation. Arzillo seconded the motion and council members approved it unanimously.

Bostick could not be reached about the disagreement. Tedder declined to comment.

Tedder has served as city attorney for 14 years, said city manager Bob Nanni, who did not sit in on the executive session.

"I've been here a year, so he might have had some history with some of the council members I don't know of," Nanni said.

The city attorney position is one of three positions for which the City Council hires, along with city manager and municipal judge. Nanni said he didn't think Tedder had a contract with the city.

Tedder was reappointed for a two-year term in June 2012. He was paid $150 per hour, the same amount that will be paid to Tom Johnson, the attorney who has been appointed to do the job on an interim basis.

For fiscal year 2013, which runs July 1 to June 30, Tedder was paid $77,716, according to city records.

"David is a good attorney, he helped the city a good deal and he knew what he was doing in most cases," Arzillo said.

Related content

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service