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Panama City Beach officials respond to lawsuit allegations

Lawsuit judge's gavel
Posted at 2:08 PM, Nov 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-01 14:08:00-05

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. -- Officials in Florida's Panhandle are disputing allegations in a lawsuit claiming that racial bias was behind new ordinances designed to curb spring break mayhem.

Panama City Beach Mayor Gayle Oberst told The News Herald that she feels comfortable the city passed laws that were legal based on their attorney's advice, and she denied racial bias played a part in the council's decisions.

Several Panama City Beach nightclub owners argue in the lawsuit filed Friday that city officials deprived business owners of their property rights and unfairly targeted events frequented by black spring breakers.

The new regulations were prompted by a series of problems that included three men charged with alleged sexual assault on a crowded beach and a shooting at a spring break house party this year.