Madeira Beach, Florida, Mayor Jim Rostek resigned, citing widespread corruption within the town’s government in a fiery letter to residents. Rostek expressed his regret but emphasized his resignation was necessary for his health and urged residents to continue fighting for what’s right.

Image Credit: City of Madeira Beach

Rostek’s letter accused City Manager Robin Ignacio Gomez of discriminatory code enforcement and fiscal mismanagement. “I cannot be part of Gomez’s corrupt behavior, which includes lies, preferential treatment, and wasting taxpayers’ money,” Rostek wrote. “I will always do what is ethical and correct.”

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According to Rostek, Gomez ignored his requests to implement a life jacket policy, a smoking policy, and a ban on cell phone use for city employees operating municipal vehicles. “I saw city workers without life jackets and smoking in city vehicles, which violates federal law,” Rostek stated. “Gomez refuses to enforce necessary policies.”

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Rostek also reported unsafe practices by city sanitation workers, witnessing one texting while holding onto the back of a truck. “We are supposed to set an example for the public,” he lamented.

Rostek claimed that financial practices within the city were technically legal but unethical. He alleged that projects exceeding $30,000 were split into smaller contracts to avoid commission approval, circumventing proper procedures.

Attached to Rostek’s email was a separation agreement from Gomez’s previous role in Clarkston, Georgia, which outlined his voluntary resignation and a clause preventing discussions about his tenure there. Rostek, a staunch advocate for ethics and safety, revealed that the stress of dealing with his colleagues led to multiple health issues. “You need policies to back up your actions to avoid lawsuits,” he said. “If we can’t get the small things right, what about the big things?”

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In response, Gomez denied Rostek’s accusations, calling them “baseless and false.” He asserted that the city operates within legal and ethical boundaries and that disagreements with Rostek led to misunderstandings.

Following Rostek’s departure, former city commissioner Anne-Marie Brooks has stepped in as mayor. A special meeting will be held to fill her vacant commission seat. Meanwhile, the commission recently extended Gomez’s contract until 2028.

Rostek hopes state authorities will investigate the alleged corruption in Madeira Beach, a small town now grappling with significant leadership changes.