TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. - A man is suing the city of Treasure Island, claiming they violated his rights when they refused to allow him to display a sign on his boat during the Veterans Day boat parade.
The city says it's simply against code. An ordinance prohibits signs on any body of water unless given prior authorization.
The large 30-foot by 14-foot, light-up billboard is now the center of a 10-page lawsuit.
“It’s a sad day when you get an ordinance violation or a ticket for a sign that supports the vets," DuVernay said.
It was a message of gratitude DuVernay had on display during the Veterans Day Boat Parade.
According to the lawsuit, after the parade, the city of Treasure Island issued him a $118 citation. DuVernay, who runs an advertising business, had been cited once before in October for displaying an ad.
City ordinance forbids signs on any body of water unless given prior authorization. Frustrated that he wouldn’t be able to display his 'thank you' message on Veterans Day, he took to Facebook and asked the commission for an exception.
City leaders denied his request for prior authorization at a commission meeting, but DuVernay participated in the parade anyway with his sign that reads 'Thank You Veterans.'
“It just believe in sticking up for what’s right and I just try and follow through with that and we just want to keep doing what we’re doing and not be basically harassed for advertising or saluting veterans," DuVernay said.
FOX 13 reached out to the city for comment. They say they cannot comment on pending litigation but wanted to re-iterate the decision not allow DuVernay's sign in the parade was not based on the content of the sign, but based on the sign itself because all signs are prohibited on the water unless given prior authorization.