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Panama City Beach Fires City Manager At Council Meeting

Panama City Beach Government
Panama City Beach Mayor Mark Sheldon expresses his dissatisfaction with the former city manager's performance before recommending the council vote to remove him from his post at a City Council meeting that streamed online on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

Panama City Beach has fired its city manager.

City Council members voted unanimously (4-0) on Thursday to remove City Manager Tony O'Rourke from his post after Mayor Mark Sheldon expressed his dissatisfaction with the former city manager's leadership.

Sheldon was sworn into office last spring a few months after O'Rourke became employed with the city.

O'Rourke stated at the meeting his termination came after he lodged a whistleblower complaint with the city on Wednesday. City officials say a third-party law firm is conducting an internal investigation into the complaint, which they've refused to make public until they've concluded the probe.

The former city manager's firing was not listed on the council meeting's agenda.

Sheldon will serve as the interim city manager until the city hires someone to fill the position. City council members will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to discuss their next steps in that process.