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Commissioner Nancy Miller’s Husband Approves $420,000 in City Purchase Orders for Brother’s Company

Posted on July 26, 2017

Commissioner Nancy Miller’s Husband Approves $420,000 in City Purchase Orders for Brother’s Company

Tallahassee Reports has confirmed that City Commissioner Nancy Miller’s husband, John Buss, approved approximately $420,402 in purchase orders for DPB & Associates,  a company affiliated with his brother, Rich Buss.

John Buss is listed as a Division Director in the City of Tallahassee’s Underground Utilities Department. TR has recently detailed the relationship between Commissioner Nancy Miller and DPB & Associates.

Records obtained by TR show that John Buss approved three different purchase orders totaling approximately $420,402 for DPB & Associates.

In August 2015, Buss approved purchase order #52103 for $98,292.

In October 2016, Buss approved purchase order #53453 for $122,907.

In January 2017, Buss approved purchase order 57054 fro $199,203. An image of this purchase order is shown below. Click on image to enlarge.


Tallahassee Reports also confirmed that the manager of the DPB & Associates, Lynda Pfundstein, was a paid campaign worker for City Commissioner Nancy Miller in 2014.

The jobs awarded to DPB & Associates were not through a sealed bid process. Rather, a set of vendors were approved by the city commission for three year contracts based on qualification ratings by city staff. When city projects were identified, city staff chose a contractor from the approved list of vendors.

The city commission voted to approve DPB & Associates as a qualified vendor two times based on the recommendation of city staff. City Commissioner Miller recused herself on the vote related to contract #2858 on December 12, 2012.

However, Commissioner Miller participated in the vote to approve DPB & Associates as a qualified vendor for contract #3087 on November 26, 2013. The city informed TR that DPB & Associates has not been awarded any work under contract 3087 as July 2017.

23 Responses to Commissioner Nancy Miller’s Husband Approves $420,000 in City Purchase Orders for Brother’s Company

  1. daisyduck Reply

    July 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Shouldn’t you use HIS picture since he is the one implicated?

    • Preston Scott

      Preston Scott Reply

      July 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      No. She serves the City and is elected. She has repeatedly voted in matters with an obvious conflict of interest. If we had an ethics officer who was not, in fact, hired by the very people she is charged with holding accountable there would have been an investigation long ago. The good news is the FBI has been taking notice of how locals operate. This may of interest. It seems the former Mayor’s many questionable dealings may get a fresh look as well.

      • tallystuff Reply

        July 26, 2017 at 7:22 pm

        do you still think indictments are coming this week? I’ve got my fingers crossed

        • Preston Scott

          Preston Scott Reply

          July 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm

          At this point in the week, I do not. Public corruption cases are supposed to have maximum impact which means indictments should never take place during the Friday (or weekend) news “dump.” Stories folks want buried get released late in a given week. The biggest development here is that the former U.S. Attorney for our district, Pam Marsh, has been retained by the City of Tallahassee. This is too coincidental. Waay too coincidental. Does anyone remember the lengthy investigation of former Mayor John Marks? Guess who the U.S. Attorney was when the FBI was allegedly looking into matters involving Marks? This has taken a turn into the surreal.

      • Franklin Thompson Reply

        July 26, 2017 at 9:42 pm

        Also, review City Report #0820 dated 9-24-2008 which details the forced resignation of a city Recreation Department employee who did the same thing gillum did…buy personal property for his own use. The use does not matter.

  2. Joan Fowinkle Reply

    July 26, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Where is the ethics officer, Oh, that’s right she was hired by these people she is suppost to evaluate.

  3. Phil Reply

    July 26, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    So a $20k a yr employee becomes a division director in a couple of years and can do things that are not ethical and maybe illegal. Is there not an internal inspector general at the City that people can file complaints with?

  4. Frances Powell Reply

    July 26, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    One would think that this is an ethical problem. Since the City Commission has not deigned to establish the criteria of what exactly constitutes a violation of ethics, then I suppose anything goes.

  5. From the cheap seats Reply

    July 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    More info needed regarding this specifically. What’s the difference, if any, in the contract language between 2858 and 3087? Are the orders in question labeled with the correct contract? Who are the alternate approved vendors that could do the work in place of DPB? Have they complained? As presented, the work order is for a contract that is using an approved vendor gaining status that status by a vote in which Commissioner Miller recused herself. Bad optics, to be sure, but in this case specifically, more needed.

  6. Dr. Erwin Jackson Reply

    July 27, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I hope that Commissioner Miller will not follow the path of our past three mayors ( Maddox, Marks, and Gillum) when they were accused of unethical/illegal activities and simply hide behind their attorneys! I know Tallahassee Reports will provide free ink to Commissioner Miller to explain her actions revealed in this report! Nancy you owe your political supporters and our entire community an explanation!

  7. Hope Reply

    July 27, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Is Commissioner Miller’s daughter doing PR work on WCOT? I thought I saw Betsy Couch on a WCOT program(s). Is she and if so how much is/was Couch paid by COT for her appearance(s)on WCOT?

    • Thomas C. Hooker Reply

      July 27, 2017 at 10:17 am

      I am not sure, but I can watch this over and over.

      • Mike Reply

        July 29, 2017 at 12:10 pm

        Yes. The Tallahassee trolley with an average of two riders for each trip. Yet another great expenditure of our cities tax dollars.

      • Terry Reply

        July 30, 2017 at 7:18 pm

        Anyone notice who Betsy Couch was interviewing: Page Carter-Smith – interesting

  8. charlie Reply

    July 27, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Those two on a free ride is very appropriate one getting and one apparently giving them a lot of the time it looks like.

  9. Cindy Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 8:28 am

    $420,402 in purchase orders for DPB & Associates could have saved some of the terminated jobs!! Where is the ethics board? Are they not scrutinized by some higher authority?? I’m personally outraged at this!

  10. Mike Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Truly disgusting. Someone should file an ethics complaint against both of them asap.

  11. Phil Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    What if the COLA increase was only 2% instead of 3 %. We could have saved all of those jobs.

  12. Mike Reply

    July 29, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Preston is absolutely right – Waaay too coincidental! Pam Marsh just recently was hired by Ausley McMullen and immediately after her hiring, she signed a contract to “advise” and “consult” the city on the FBI investigation.
    This is all beginning to smell very bad, as local officials try to evade and neutralize any solid FBI investigation into COT activities by hiring a former DOJ lawyer tainted with obvious conflicts of representation.
    Notice Ms. Marsh said specifically she would not represent the city “within the 2-year period” dictated by the DOJ’s policies – and that period ends in September 2017. So by very clear implication, she can represent the city in this case soon. Again, waay to incidental.

  13. Mike Reply

    July 29, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Ah. Mrs. Miller’s daughter. You ever seen a group so overly publicized in your life?

    Someone should point out she has a cushy job with the Knight foundation – which you may say is rather close to the Tallahassee Democrat! That would explain why you rarely see any negative articles in the Tallahassee Democrat about Mrs. Miller.

    Some of these people truly believe they are politically bulletproof.

    • Terry Reply

      July 30, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      So far they have been bulletproof – don’t see anybody going against this group legally – maybe at the polls in the future?

  14. Bill Carlton Reply

    July 30, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Brotherly love at its finest, and with no consequences!

  15. sylvia Reply

    August 2, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Why don’t this type of activity hit the Tallahassee Democrat?

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