Police Chief Russ Mager, Mayor Shelly Petrolia Ordering Information Suppression? Who Died Monday? What Happened?
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
UPDATE — 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, February 14, 2023: The City of Delray Beach still REFUSES to release details of the crash more than 36 hours after it occurred. This is the latest example of the City of Delray Beach and Delray Beach Police Department suppressing information. It is unclear why Communications Director Gina Carter, Police Public Information Officer Ted White, Police Chief Russ Mager, and City Attorney Lynn Gelin are hiding this basic information. But BocaNewsNow.com will get the details. We always do.
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2023 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — For at least the second time in just weeks, the City of Delray Beach is not releasing information regarding a critical or fatal crash — possibly violating Florida statute, and raising questions about the taxpayer-supported “Public Information Officer” whose job is to release information.
As BocaNewsNow.com reported on Monday, a fatal crash around 5:30 a.m. closed the intersection of Military Trail and Atlantic Avenue for hours. One person died at the scene. Four people were rushed to area hospitals.
But that’s all we know a full day after the crash. We don’t know who allegedly did what. We don’t know who was involved. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and other local police departments routinely release the full narrative of a crash or incident within hours, but the City of Delray Beach appears engaged in a constant coverup of information — opting only to “Tweet” basic details like “Atlantic Avenue is closed.” That potentially violates Florida law. The handicapped, infirm, or others who find it challenging to use social media which requires account creation and potential data monitoring are excluded from receiving public information. The City of Boca Raton, for example, emails, texts, and issues immediate advisories to its website.
This is at least the second time in weeks that the City of Delray Beach has hidden information about a major incident. On New Year’s Eve, four people were run down by a driver on a cell phone on Atlantic Avenue near the Intracoastal. It took four weeks — and a threat of a lawsuit — for the City to finally release details to BocaNewsNow.com. It is unclear if Mayor Shelly Petrolia, Police Chief Russ Mager, or others within the City of Delray Beach have ordered Delray Beach Police Spokesperson Ted White, or Public Information Manager Gina Carter, to ignore media requests. White and Carter are full-time public information officers — yet their release of public information is sporadic at best. BocaNewsNow.com filed multiple public information requests late Monday to determine how much these people are being paid, their job descriptions, and employment history within the City.
We will update once the City of Delray Beach releases information regarding Monday’s high-profile crash.
Andrew Colton hosts South Florida’s First News weekdays, 6-10 a.m., on NewsRadio 610 WIOD. Simulcast on 105.9HD2, streaming in the iHeart Radio App and on Alexa, Google, and Siri.
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