During Monday night’s Destin City Council meeting, City Attorney Kyle Bauman told the council about an email that he and City Manager Lance Johnson received from suspended council-member Prebble Ramswell.
- Dr. Ramswell pleaded no contest and was adjudicated guilty on two counts of a public records violation, according to Bauman.
Bauman says that in the email from Ramswell, she asks them to “please contact Governor DeSantis’ office to initiate the process of lifting my suspension and reinstating me.”
“To be clear, I’m not saying that is the process that would take place,” said Bauman to the council. “It is for the Governor to decide in his decision about whether she is reinstated or removed in accordance with the statute.”
According to Bauman, in situations like this, an agency (or the City of Destin in this case) does not take that type of action on behalf of a suspended council member or agency member.
- “Lance and I do not plan on taking any direction in this instance, unless otherwise directed by the council,” added Bauman.
Council-member Rodney Braden then how a situation like this would normally be handled.
“Normally, the person who is affected, herself in this case, is the one that advocates for her reinstatement,” said Bauman. “Or sometimes the public official would resign.”
In October 2021, law enforcement showed up to Ramswell’s home in Destin to execute a search warrant.
- Ramswell was arrested during the execution of the search warrant for obstruction and alleged battery of a law enforcement officer.
The warrant stems from a complaint from Point Mezzanine LLC in June alleging that Ramswell had conducted public business on personal electronic devices and concealed the content and nature of her communications. They presented a binder containing paper copies of electronic mail and text communications and a flash drive with digital communications involving Ramswell as evidence to substantiate their allegation.
- According to State Attorney spokesman Frederick Longmire, “she failed to disclose those communications as required by law after the City of Destin received a public records request from Point Mezzanine LLC.”
About a month later, Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Ramswell from Destin City Council following her October arrest.
On November 15th, the Destin City Council voted 4-2 to temporarily appoint Bobby Wagner to fill the vacancy left by the suspension of Ramswell. Wagner could seek election in November, but according to the Okaloosa Supervisor of Elections’ website, has not pre-filed yet. Ramswell, is not eligible to run again in the upcoming election cycle.
No word yet from DeSantis’ office on whether he will reinstate Ramswell.