News & Features » News

Two for the road



Two officials thrust into the firefighter controversy last summer will soon depart Orlando city government, but for different reasons.

Three-term Commissioner Don Ammerman lost his bid for reelection April 9 to accountant-turned-attorney Phil Diamond, who was strongly backed by the downtown establishment and takes office June 1.

Mark Munsey, the city's risk manager, notified city officials last week that he was resigning effective April 11. Munsey's departure surprises no one because city administrators were investigating whether his behavior in the firefighter suit damaged the city's image.

Munsey and Ammerman met last August to discuss whether city employees had deleted information from a computer in Munsey's office. Five months later, Ammerman came forward with details of the meeting, sparking allegations of a City Hall cover-up.

Munsey denied saying that a computer had been tampered with. His comments were backed by a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation initiated by Mayor Glenda Hood. But in the FDLE report, seven witnesses contradicted other points of Munsey's testimony, raising professional and ethical questions about his involvement. It still isn't clear why Munsey met independently with firefighters and their attorneys.

Ammerman's loss had less to do with the firefighter suit than it did with the public's loss of confidence. His stand on gay rights was especially vexing. He signed a pledge with a gay-rights group vowing to back an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing and hiring, then attacked Diamond for signing the same pledge.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.