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Anna Maria city employees say they were fired for removing pier planks

The community urging city leaders to rehire them
Posted at 10:05 PM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-13 23:20:21-05

ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. — Two Anna Maria city employees say they were fired after they removed a plank from the pier. The two employees worked in the Department of Public Works and removed the plank to return it to the family who sponsored it. 

Denise Raykov and her mother, Jeanette Langer, bought the plank years ago and dedicated it in memory of Raykov's son who died at 22 years old from pneumonia.

"We paid for it. We should be able to keep it," said Jeanette Langer.

Pete Piir and his co-worker decided to remove the plank from the pier before construction starts on the pier.

"The next thing I knew, he had it on my front yard and I was so happy," said Raykov.

The pier has been closed since Hurricane Irma damaged it. The two ladies feared the plank would be destroyed once construction started on the pier.

Piir's termination letter states he was terminated for "misappropriation of city property and exercising poor judgment."

"I said well this pier is going down. I didn't think anybody would make a fuss over it," said Pete Piir.

Piir says he has worked for the city for nearly 10 years.

The two ladies say Piir did a good deed. They have collected signatures to take to city council on Thursday to try and get the two men re-hired.

"Terrible. He was just doing a good deed. He was punished for something that should not have happened," said Langer.

Mayor Dan Murphy sent us a statement saying, "There are two sides to every story. However, it is not now, nor shall it ever be, my policy to discuss personnel/HR issues in public. They should and will remain private between the employee and the city."

The Mayor went on to write, "However, if anyone, including the employee involved in this matter has new information about the circumstances I would certainly welcome it, listen and take it into consideration and re-evaluate our decision."