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Pam Marsh Responds to Questions About City of Tallahassee Contract

Posted on July 28, 2017

Pam Marsh Responds to Questions About City of Tallahassee Contract

TALLAHASSEE — Ausley McMullen’s newest attorney Pamela Marsh said unequivocally there is no problem with her contracting with the City of Tallahassee to “consult and advise” on the recent FBI investigation even though Marsh was the former supervisor of the attorney overseeing that federal investigation.

The contract between Ausley McMullen and the City of Tallahassee was signed July 10. Marsh joined the firm as a shareholder that same month.

The Department of Justice has two separate prohibitions on former employees.

The first is a lifetime bar if an attorney has had personal and substantial knowledge of the case. Marsh said this does not apply to her at all.

The second bars an attorney for two years from representing anyone involved in an open case under that attorney’s responsibility during his or her last year of government service.

“The rule prohibits “representing” a client before the US Attorney’s office, a court or a federal agency. I specifically drafted the contract to say that I will only ‘consult and advise’ the city. I have no intentions whatsoever of representing the city before any of those bodies within that two-year period,” said Marsh.

The two-year period ends September 2017, on the anniversary of her resignation from the Northern District of Florida where she served as U.S. attorney from 2010 to 2015. During her tenure, she supervised assistant U.S. attorney Stephen Kunz, who is leading the FBI investigation of the city and the Community Redevelopment Agency.

However, she said, “I did not supervise Mr. Kunz on this particular matter at all. I knew nothing about this particular matter.”

She continued, “While I was US attorney, although this matter may have been opened during the time I was U.S. attorney, I was never briefed on it. I never knew any of the facts of it. I was never informed of anything about it.”

Marsh also said while those rules bar her from “representing” a party, neither of those rules prohibit “consulting and advising.”

“I can consult and advise any client. I simply cannot represent them before any federal agency, the U.S. attorney’s office, the Department of Justice and that applies only in the Northern District of Florida,” she said.

Marsh also said she took the additional step of consulting with the Department of Justice General Counsel on the matter.

“He confirmed that everything I am doing is completely ethical…there is no prohibition on consulting and advising any client,” she said.

Marsh has previous connections with the City of Tallahassee.

During Marsh’s tenure, in 2011, the City of Tallahassee was served with subpoenas from her office with regards to issues relating to Mayor John Marks and federal grants. No charges were ever filed.

Also, before her appointment by President Obama as a U.S. Attorney in 2010, Marsh worked with the Akerman Law Firm from 2006 to 2010. At Akerman, Marsh was a colleague of the founder of the firm, Allan Katz, who was a city commissioner from 2002 to 2009.

According to opensecrets.org, Katz was one of Obama’s key bundlers during the 2008 presidential campaign, pulling together at least $500,000 in contributions.

12 Responses to Pam Marsh Responds to Questions About City of Tallahassee Contract

  1. Jay Bird Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    And people wonder why attorneys are hated worse than mosquitos.

  2. Bruce Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    “Consult and advise,” this sounds a lot like that episode of Veep where the characters “consulted” and didn’t lobby.

    This situation is too close to not be a conflict of interest.

  3. Greg Marr Jr. Reply

    July 28, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Interesting.
    “He confirmed that everything I am doing is completely ethical…there is no prohibition on consulting and advising any client,”
    This is the third time in a matter of weeks I have come upon a “not in violation of any existing ethics policy” sort of thing. Even though the behavior in each case is clearly unethical and in two cases criminal.
    The timing of her joining the firm is as sketchy as the rest of shenanigans that the C.O.T and the local white collar criminal community participate in.
    INCESTUOUS SWAMP CREATURES!
    THIS TOWN NEEDS AN ENEMA!

  4. Bill Carlton Reply

    July 30, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Common sense dictates that if she had prior employment with the U. S. Attorney’s office she should not participate in this case.

  5. Mike Reply

    July 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Mrs marsh advice:

    “Bribery is illegal. Don’t write if you can speak. Don’t speak if you can nod. Don’t nod if you can wink. “.

    2 billable hours

  6. Phil Reply

    July 31, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    So how many lawyers are on the city staff? How much money are we paying them? and now they have to go outside to get legal advice? and spend thousands of dollars. the commission should not approve expenses like this outside service.

    • Mike Reply

      August 1, 2017 at 8:17 am

      The city has plenty of lawyers on staff, but they are career government lawyers and thus (with all due respect) not the caliber of an attorney such as Marsh. She has a solid reputation as a good lawyer, but I know a good bit about hiring lawyers in Tallahassee – and $380 an hour for “advice” is on the extremely high side.

      Maybe this representation will at least put a pause in the local numbnuts that want Marsh to run for Congress – because that’s exactly what a couple of local Democrat activists and political consultants were trying to plan. Now she is profiteering off city corruption shortly after leaving the office.

  7. Old Cop Reply

    August 1, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Time for a complaint to the Florida Bar

  8. Toby Reply

    August 4, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    The taxpayer is paying top dollar for her to defend white collars criminals at the city for crimes against the taxpayer.

  9. Franklin Thompson Reply

    August 4, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    During her tenure, she supervised assistant U.S. attorney Stephen Kunz, who is leading the FBI investigation of the city and the Community Redevelopment Agency.

    However, she said, “I did not supervise Mr. Kunz on this particular matter at all. I knew nothing about this particular matter.”

    She continued, “While I was US attorney, although this matter may have been opened during the time I was U.S. attorney, I was never briefed on it. I never knew any of the facts of it. I was never informed of anything about it.”

    Doesn’t say much about her supervisory capabilities.

  10. Old Cop Reply

    August 5, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    She says she had no knowledge of the undercover investigation being conducted in her district which includes Tallahassee. If that is true, the most likely reason is that the FBI did not trust her with the information.
    Bring this down to a local level: Imagine a scenario where TPD conducts an undercover drug investigation, and, upon its completion, the State Attorney resigns to represent the drug dealers. He says he had no knowledge of the TPD case. A conflict between his official duties and representation of his clients? Does the former state attorney have insider information on the case, or on TPD investigative procedures? If so, does that knowledge make his representation unlawful or unethical?
    Decide for yourself and next time you go to the polls to elect a city commissioner, remember what you decided.

  11. Quacks Like A Duck Reply

    August 20, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I think the Ausley law firm is ethical and strives to avoid any semblance of questionable activities.

    Having said that, I think Marsh is encroaching on an inherently “gray” area. She may not be planning to “represent” or handle litigation, but her advice and consultation will definitely become part of the City’s case strategy.

    Quite frankly, lack of direct supervision does not necessarily equate lack of knowledge/information. As with any other specialty unit, attorneys’ supervisors and managers attend briefings on current cases, pending issues, status updates, etc. Unless she was totally out of the loop in general, I would expect her to be included in regular supervisory meetings and routine discussions.

    I think it will be particularly telling if, next month, after her two year prohibition expires, she then “represents” the City.

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