Delray assistant city manager resigns after allegation she used city resources to prep home before hurricane

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By: Marisa Herman

Associate Editor 

Delray Beach assistant city manager Caryn Gardner-Young submitted her resignation several days after an anonymous complaint was filed alleging she used city staff to prepare her home for Hurricane Dorian.

Her resignation submitted on Sept. 9 was effective immediately. She served in the role for about two and one-half years. 

Interim city manager Neal de Jesus said he directed human resources to “immediately begin an internal investigation” when he was made aware of the anonymous complaint.

As of Sept. 12, he said that internal investigation is still open.

The complaint was also submitted to the Palm Beach County Office of the Inspector General, which is a watchdog agency for the county.

The anonymous complaint states city employees were sent to Gardner-Young’s residence during business hours to “ensure her property was safe for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian.”

In her resignation letter, Gardner-Young addresses the situation. Her letter states: “In the run-up to Hurricane Dorian I was approached by a colleague offering to help me with any last-minute storm preparations that I could not handle on my own given the physical limitations of my husband.” 

She writes her husband is disabled and uses a wheelchair.

“I deeply appreciated this thoughtful offer, and accepted it and two men wearing city shirts arrived at lunchtime to help me secure the brace in my garage and my shutters. I assumed that these men, who were there for approximately 45 minutes, were helping me on their lunch break. With hindsight being 20/20, I should have confirmed this fact, but in the chaos of the moment and out of sincere appreciation for their kind assistance, I did not, which is a decision I now regret.” 

She states, she would “never abuse my position in any way, nor would I divert or utilize city resources for my own personal benefit, I still feel that it is in the best interest of the city for me to step down to avoid even the appearance of any impropriety.”