Chairman of Manatee County Commission issues statement on letter condemning county administrator

County Clerk responds to most recent letter with her own statement
Dr. Scott Hopes spoke to return
Dr. Scott Hopes spoke to return(WWSB)
Published: May. 21, 2022 at 11:08 AM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2022 at 3:00 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The Chair of the Manatee County Commission has issued a statement after the County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller wrote to the board expressing concerns over the performance of Manatee County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes.

Angel Colonesso wrote a letter to Manatee County Commission Chairman Kevin Van Ostenbridge expressing concern over what she called a lack of communication and transparency.

Colonesso wrote that she had become increasingly concerned and had been monitoring the situation. She also noted that she had been recently “admonished” by Hopes when he told her she had to coordinate with him regarding an open record request.

“This is not a complete account of all concerning activity that has transpired. The actions of your administrator hinder my constitutional duties as clerk to the board, accountant, auditor and custodian of all county funds,” Colonesso wrote.

She sent the letter to Van Ostenbridge who then sent the following message to the media:

“As Chairman of the Manatee County Commission, I will not sit idly by while an elected official abuses the status of her office to attack one of our county employees. The Clerk’s letter is strategic and politically motivated. Recently, light has been shed on Miss Colonnesso’s actions as Clerk which resulted in the loss of millions of taxpayer dollars. Miss Colonnesso has chosen not to face the music and take responsibility for her own actions. Instead, she has taken a page from the Joe Biden playbook and is pointing a finger at others to distract from her failures. This political stunt attempts to undermine the sovereignty of our Board of County Commissioners. Manatee County taxpayers deserve better from their Clerk.”

After this letter came out, Colonesso responded to Van Ostenrbridge. You can read her response below.

Editor’s Note: This letter was sent on behalf of the chair of the Manatee County Commission, not the entire Commission.

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