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Temple Terrace city council hires outside company to act as interim city manager

Former Temple Terrace City Manager Charles Stephenson was fired last week.

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. — Council members with the city of Temple Terrace held a special meeting on Monday to discuss how they will fill the vacant city manager position. Last week, council members voted to terminate the contract of former City Manager Charles Stephenson.

City leaders never specified why Stephenson was fired, but his name was mentioned in an investigation that led to the arrest of a city employee accused of giving insider information to a friend in exchange for discount work on his home.

The city said it had two options to fill Stephenson's position. Either recruit an interim city manager or hire an outside company to fulfill the duties of an interim manager. 

Councilmembers decided to go with the latter, hiring Imagine That Performance to act as interim city manager.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 54-year-old Amir Anisi was arrested last week for bribery and misconduct after investigators say he gave "insider information" to a friend for a bid in exchange for a discount on work at his home. 

Law enforcement said the investigation dated back to August 2021. At the time, the city had received a complaint regarding an unlicensed contractor being hired to complete renovations at a racquetball court at the Family Recreation Complex.

In Anisi's arrest affidavit, investigators say an anonymous complaint accused Stephenson of "deliberately" hiring an unlicensed contractor to complete the construction project.

According to the FDLE, Anisi, who oversaw planning and development and building and zoning for the city, told the friend the estimated price range the city was considering for the work. His friend would then bid under the estimated price, ensuring he would win. 

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