St Pete Mayor's Race Becomes a Bully Pulpit

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (970 WFLA) -- The former mayor of St. Petersburg held a news conference, with city employees and a councilman who say they've been bullied by current mayor Rick Kriseman. 

Rick Baker introduced Steven Marshall, the city's manager of energy and sustainability, who says he's had projects and employees taken away from his portfolio, after he questioned Kriseman's claim that he hadn't seen a report in 2014, that urged the city to wait to shut down the Albert Whitted sewage plant, until a new plant in another part of the city could be brought fully on line.

Two other city employees and city councilman Jim Kennedy also appeared at the news conference, but only Marshall and Baker spoke. 

"No one has the political or moral authority, to bully or intimidate people, for political gain," Baker said. He urged other city employees who feel they've been intimidated by Kriseman or his administration, to come forward. 

Kriseman's campaign manager, Jacob Smith, issued this statement in response: "Rick Baker's city slashed homeless people's tents, didn't do a thing to protect LGBT kids from bullying, and Rick Baker refuses to stand up to the biggest bully in America, Donald Trump. St. Pete was ranked the second meanest city in America while Baker was mayor. Voters don't want to go back to that."

Regarding the president, Baker said the Kriseman campaign appears to be trying to divert the race into a national election, while he's talking about things going on in the city of St. Petersburg.

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