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Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder will resign Monday

A man in a suit holds up his hand as he speaks
Tampa City Council
Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder, seen speaking at a council meeting in June 2021, is expected to turn his resignation into city officials Monday.

John Dingfelder is expected to step down as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit a Tampa development consultant filed against him.

Tampa City Council member John Dingfelder is expected to turn in his resignation Monday.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported Dingfelder is stepping down as part of an agreement to settle a lawsuit against him.

Steve Michelini, a consultant for local developers, sued Dingfelder in October, saying that he had abused state public record laws and threatened him at City Hall.

The Business Journal reported late Friday that Michelini was seeking records related to the redevelopment of the 81Bay Brewing Co. property on West Gandy Boulevard. Michelini’s client, developer John Lum, wants to build apartments on that site.

The city of Tampa put out a statement Saturday afternoon saying the City Attorney's Office "has been advised that Dingfelder will deliver his resignation Monday to Mayor Jane Castor, City Council Chairman Orlando Gudes, and the City Attorney."

The city also released the settlement agreement Saturday. As part of it, Dingfelder had to write an apology letter to Michelini, who will drop an ethics complaint against him. Each side will pay their own legal fees.

"We are happy this nightmare for Steve is over," Ethan Loeb, Michelini's attorney, said in a statement to the Business Journal. "He had the courage to stay strong in the face of unreasonable criticism. This was never about Steve trying to get an unfair advantage before city council or to single out one elected official.

"This lawsuit was always about holding someone accountable," Loeb said. "That’s it. Plain and simple. He has been through a lot, and we are thankful that Mr. Dingfelder finally did the right thing by apologizing and stepping aside as a public official.

Dingfelder, an at-large councilman whose district covers all of Tampa, was elected for a second time to the City Council in 2019. He was first elected in 2003 and won re-election in 2007.

The six remaining members of the Council will have 30 days to fill the vacancy.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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