The Margate city clerk who filed a lawsuit against the city is having his department transferred from Revenue and Finance — run by his ally on the city commission — to Public Safety, run by the mayor.

The Board of Commissioners approved the move at last week’s meeting by a vote of 2-1.

“It was my belief that the Clerk’s Office would be hopefully more efficient in that department than it was under the director of Revenue and Finance,” said Margate Mayor Mike Becker.

He would not speak further about the decision, saying that it was a personnel matter, and he was limited in what he could say.

Maury Blumberg, the director of Revenue and Finance, said in an email “I was caught by surprise” when Becker proposed the switch.

“I was further confounded and dismayed when he provided no concrete reasons for why we were making this switch,” Blumberg said. “He cited ... an increase in accountability, yet refused to elaborate. ... This does nothing to help the residents of Margate, and only confuses reporting responsibilities internally.”

Blumberg also called the move “retaliatory” in regards to City Clerk Tom Hiltner’s lawsuit. Hiltner claims that he was stripped of his $5,000-per-year position as beach tag supervisor after he told authorities he believed commissioners awarded an auditing contract in exchange for campaign advice.

“I advised that I thought this move was unwarranted and (poorly) thought out, especially at a time when we have pending whistleblower litigation on behalf of the clerk,” Blumberg said.

Hiltner said Monday “we have more important issues facing Margate than petty politics. ... I think we need to focus on the business of running the city and taking care of residents. This stuff is nothing but a waste of time.”

Contact Steven Lemongello:

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