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Video: Florida City Officials Spar Over Coronavirus Emergency Powers

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Lake Worth Beach officials accused of turning off people’s lights during COVID-19 pandemic

A contentious argument between Florida city officials over the use of emergency powers amid the coronavirus outbreak went viral last Thursday.

The video, which has garnered over 2.5 million views, shows Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Omari Hardy blasting Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Michael Bornstein for “turning off people’s lights during a global health pandemic.”

Bornstein had admitted that 50 customers had their power turned off before any statement was released about any services being stopped.

“This is a banana republic is what you’re turning this place into with your so-called leadership,” Hardy yelled at Triolo after she called a recess. “We cut people’s utilities this week and made them pay — with what could have been their last check — to turn their lights off in a global health pandemic. But you don’t care about that! You didn’t want to meet!”

“You care more about your relationship with [Bornstein] than you do about the people that are out there working,” Hardy added.

After the video went viral, Bornstein issued a statement saying all customers who contacted his office had their services restored.

“There were customers whose service was temporarily suspended during the transition period earlier in the week before the suspension was fully implemented. Most contacted the City and they were reconnected immediately, and all fees and charges are being credited back to those customers,” he said.


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