and is reportedly facing criticism in Cape Coral after audio from a meeting with his staff members was mistakenly broadcast live over cable access on July 18.
Szerlag denies accusations that he insinuated that the mayor and a city councilman "didn't matter" when it came to their opinions on a controversial utilities expansion project, calling the accusations "absurd," according to the News Press.
Cape Coral City Councilman Chris Chulakes-Leetz and Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan say they were mentioned by name during the meeting, the audio from which was reportedly broadcast over another video on CapeTV, according to Fox 4 News.
One alleged comment, as reported by Fox 4: "We won't be able to sell that to Sullivan and Leetz, they don't matter."
"City staff totally dismisses Mayor Sullivan and myself as being involved," Leetz told Fox 4.
One man who heard the audio told the News Press: "I remember one of them saying, ‘Well, if the Council knew about these specs, we’d be in a lot of trouble, but don’t worry, they’re buried so far in the weeds they’ll never find ‘em.’”
Sullivan and some residents called for an investigation into the incident, though their demands were met with little support, and Cape Coral City Council ultimately decided not to investigate the incident further during its regular meeting on Monday.
Szerlag addressed the issue during the meeting and denied he and his staff members made the comments, according to the Cape Coral Daily Breeze. Szerlag also noted that none of the attendees questioned reported hearing negative statements or comments made by those present.
Szerlag also faced criticism in Troy earlier this year when embattled Troy Mayor Janice Daniels told Szerlag she while reading a position paper during a council meeting. Szerlag later .