“Notice of a potential claim” filed by Rick Adams, a department head at City Hall, is on the Port Aransas City Council agenda for a meeting on Thursday, April 21.
The meeting starts at 5 p.m. at Council Chambers, 710 W. Ave. A.
The item calls on the council to meet with its attorney to seek legal advice on the matter during a session that will be closed to the public.
The potential claim would be against the city and council member Tina Mott, the agenda said.
Adams is the city’s director of development services. In that role, he supervises code enforcement, among other things. He also is the city’s emergency management coordinator.
In an interview, Adams said he filed the notice because he feels that Mott “tried to bully and intimidate me from doing my job.”
He said he filed the notice late last week in relation to a controversy over campaign signs. Adams and his code enforcement officers removed various city council candidates’ campaign signs around town recently, alleging that they were placed in city rights of way, in violation of a city ordinance.
Mott, who is running for re-election to Place 2 on the council, complained that her signs were removed even though their placement didn’t violate city ordinances.
Mott accused Adams of “picking and choosing which candidates signs are removed.” She said that “it’s not based on legality.”
Adams said the removals were based only on whether the signs were illegally placed. He indicated that he and members of his department removed signs supporting all 12 of the candidates running for council and mayor.
Mott and Adams exchanged a series of texts over the issue. In one text, Mott wrote that she planned to contact the Attorney General’s Office, Nueces County Clerk Kara Sands and the Texas Municipal League regarding the actions of the code enforcement officers.
“They are blatantly abusing their authority and attempting to influence this upcoming election,” she wrote.
The South Jetty contacted City Hall and put in a request for a copy of the paperwork filed by Adams but hadn’t received copies by deadline for this edition.
Contacted for comment, Mott sent the following text to a South Jetty reporter:
“Mr. Adams has a distorted view of the truth. His allegations are baseless, and again, with the election coming, his timing is suspect. He stated in the (4/07/22 South Jetty) edition that in the last nine years he has not enforced the sign ordinance during elections, but I’ve been harassed during the last two elections. If smearing my name before an election is his intent, shame on him. The signs that I placed were legally placed and I have every right to question him, he said come talk to me, in the paper and on YouTube during council meetings. The Charter prohibits council from various communications with department heads, that is why (City Manager) Mr. (Dave) Parsons was included in my texts to Mr. Adams. At the end of the day, Mr. Adams thought he had a ‘gotcha’ moment. Pretty third grade if you ask me.”