West Palm spokesman Cohen heads to private sector

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Elliot Cohen is leaving as the city’s communications director, a job where he expanded West Palm’s outreach through TV and social media but exerted a controlling hand in parceling public information to the press while trying to compete with it as an advocate for the administration of Mayor Jeri Muoio.

Cohen came under fire in 2015 after he dumped more than 2,000 pages of police emails on the city website in response to a reporter’s information request, without blanking out names of undercover police or confidential informants. He was eventually cleared by the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics but the mayor removed him from most direct contact with the media, a role in which he’d made himself an intermediary between city officials and reporters who wanted to speak with them.

Thursday he said he’d taken a private sector job in South Florida and would leave his West Palm Beach job Aug. 19. “It’s kind of exciting and unusual,” he said, declining to name the company.

“We are going to miss him,” City Administrator Jeff Green said. “He’s done a good job for the city.”

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