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Family Members of High Level City Officials Land City Jobs

Posted on November 16, 2017

Family Members of High Level City Officials Land City Jobs

Tallahassee Reports has learned that the City of Tallahassee’s Technology and Innovation Department, headed by Jonathan Kilpatrick, employs the step-son of City Commissioner Nancy Miller and the daughter of City Manager Rick Fernandez.

In addition, TR has verified that Kilpatrick’s wife works with the City of Tallahassee and his daughter, Cowan Kilpatrick Duggar, was recently hired in the city’s Gas Administration Department.

The latest city organizational chart indicates Mr. Kilpatrick reports directly to the City Manager Rick Fernandez.

These revelations come after a City of Tallahassee audit found an “appearance of conflict” related to transactions between City Commissioner Nancy Miller’s husband, John Buss – a city employee – and his brother, a city vendor.

Kilpatrick was part of the controversial city reorganization that took place in early 2016 after the appointment of Rick Fernandez as City Manager. The reorganization resulted in a 15% raise increasing his salary to $130,000. Also, he became a direct report to City Manager Rick Fernandez.

Before the reorganization, Kilpatrick was the Manager of the Business and Information Technology for the City of Tallahassee Underground Utilities. He was first employed with the City of Tallahassee in 2009.

Also during the reorganization, the daughter of Rick Fernandez, Kristina Fernandez, was moved to a position under Kilpatrick in the Technology and Innovation Department.

Based on a city organizational chart, Kristina Fernandez’s immediate supervisor within Kilpatrick’s department is Turqouis James.

TR verified, after receiving tips from disgruntled city workers, that Ms. James was awarded a promotion during the reorganization that resulted in a 27% pay raise in 2016.

TR also verified that City Commissioner Nancy Miller’s step-son works under Kilpatrick. TR first reported about the city’s employment of City Commissioner Miller’s step-son in July.

TR has also verified that Mr. Kilpatrick’s wife – Donna Kilpatrick – took a job with the Water Quality Department in 2014.

And finally, recently TR was alerted by sources and verified that Jonathan Kilpatrick’s daughter was hired in a temporary position in June of this year in the Gas Administration Department.

Sources within the city have complained to TR about friends and family receiving preferential treatment when it comes to open jobs, promotions, and raises.

Sources say that these actions by management, coupled with the recent layoffs have resulted in morale problems with the city’s rank and file employees.

33 Responses to Family Members of High Level City Officials Land City Jobs

  1. Loli Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I know the COT is under heavy scrutiny at this time, but I think this is pretty much the “norm” in any industry whether public or private sector. The state offices, private businesses,etc..hire family, friends, and neighbors that is just the way it is and has always been!

    • Preston Scott

      Preston Scott Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Private sector employment practices is irrelevant. If mom and dad open a business and they want to hand the business over to their kids, of course they will hire them. They will also employ family who are willing to work for less to help a business get established. But, it is private. None of our business. The public sector is our business because it is our money. There are laws against nepotism. The City has been operating under its own set of guidelines for more than a decade. The amount in this story is the tip of the iceberg. It is wrong – whether they have done it in a manner to skirt the law or not. Just because it is legal does not make it right. That is why this community voted overwhelmingly for an independent ethics board and officer. It got neither.

      • Carson Reply

        November 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm

        There may be laws against nepotism but they are dormant in Leon County Schools. 5 Associate Superintendents given jobs with no interviews, all aligned through covert conversations between themselves with Mr. Hanna throughout the election process. Check phone records! Look into voter intimidation that took place by school administrators who were told “cool your for support for JP if Rocky wins he will remember you” Leon County Schools is the poster child for Nepotism!

        • Mark Reply

          November 18, 2017 at 1:53 pm

          Please look into school board members dating employees. Highly improper, and possibly unethical, but it follows the model and tone set forth by Rocky Hanna when dated a teacher he supervised while Principal of Leon High – not to mention the kissing on school grounds during the school day!. Nice cover-up Rocky. Rather than stepping down you had the teacher tranfered with a monetary settlement.

    • DavidB Reply

      November 18, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Is this a joke? Public sector clear has a standard of anti-nepotism as compared to the private sector, where generations own a business. Loli, your typical leftist mentality is truly symbolic of Tallahassee, Fl.

  2. News_Maven Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    “Kiplaptrick”?
    Steve, you’ve been reading too many stories about Al Franken and BJ Clinton.

    • Steve

      Steve Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Got it. Thanks

  3. Gail Cutrer Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Yes and when James Barnes was part of the re-organization he made sure to tell his new white employees that “you will notice that he mostly hires black females”!! What does that mean? He also took the white employees that needed to be in a quite environment with deadlines and put them in a large room with people on the phone with no deadlines!

  4. daisyduck Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    As long as relatives don’t report to each other, it’s not illegal. True within state agencies and local government.

    • Dr Erwin Jackson Reply

      November 16, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      Our ethics commission should define “family” and “residency” for our community!

  5. Gwen Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    How about Randy Pridgeon in LCS and the numerous promotions his wife has had since they were marrief … look into the re-employment of Ricky Bell who Hanna said he would not rehire because he was in and out of DROP but he has the affidavit that Rocky put the notebook together to ruin the former Supt. Why is nobody looking into the unethical behavior that has lead to demotions, promotions and staff leaving LCS?

  6. Major Villum Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Keep in mind this is just a single example of these financial abuses INTENTIONALLY orchestrated by the hierarchy within the City of Tallahassee – there are plenty more.

    Now add together all of these family member’s collective salaries with benefit packages (and multiply by the years they’ve been paid by the City) and you will see where millions of our tax payer’s money go to support these family units and practices Then actually check on these folks credentials, too.

    This nepotism type hiring and promotional practices with the City of Tallahassee extends to sororities, too. Specifically the AKA’s – look at their (AKAs) positions, promotions and salaries within the City structure.

    Additional financial and promotional City abuses are emplaced with the NFBPA; the National Forum for Black Professional Association; which is significantly financed via the City of Tallahassee, too. Get on the City checkbook and see how much money the City has spent on the Tallahassee Chapter of the NFBPA, that is a separate financial travesty in itself – and illegal, too.

    There are plenty more layers of these financial abuses to incorporate into these financial review. Let’s also wonder where the Ethic’s Department and the Personnel Department and the Communication Department and the Budget Department are in this process?

    FBI, State Attorney, Governor Scott – where are you; how about a little assistance to return our governance to the people, please? Do you see a common theme here? Tallahassee Deserves Better Than This.

  7. Snidely Whiplash Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 5:03 am

    After the FBI came in and busted up the City’s “big ‘ole stinking hill of CRA related rat poop” everything the City does now, past, and future becomes relevant and subject to the bright light of truth and justice.
    Of course your rats have engaged in nepotism. There will be more and more such revelations of what you liberal Tallahassee rat voters have supported for way – way – way too long now. Get used to it Tallahassee rat supporters and your rat families!!!
    Sure the rats and the local rat supporters will not like it. They much prefer the cover of darkness.
    Shine On – Steve Stuart (for Mayor).

  8. Dr Erwin Jackson Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I wonder where he worked before he got this over paid city job! What are his academic qualifications. How much was he earning from the private sector?

  9. James Anderson Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Just another reason for Killearn to de-annex from the City of Tallahassee.

    • Mike Reply

      November 17, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Unless the FBI’s investigation and (please!) the ensuing trials bring some real justice to our ruined, corrupted COT government, I must reluctantly agree wity you, James – Killearn and most all of NE Tallahassee (the parts of North Thomasville and north of I-10) should simply secede from the city and form The City of North Tallahassee, or we can choose another name to further separate ourselves from the rotten COT government.

      This secession tactic is nothing new – I’ve documented here several times before about the Atlanta suburbs that seceded from the corrupt Atlanta City government and formed their own cities and school systems. Sandy Springs is one such city, and it’s been pointed to as an outstanding example of city government and budgeting.
      Google it – the Atlanta suburb secessions all started in Atlanta around 2005, and those suburbs are now very successful new cities. We have the same problem with COT here, and unless some justice is done to clean up Tallahassee, secession would be a good option (and maybe our only one, other than moving elsewhere).

      • James Anderson Reply

        November 17, 2017 at 8:36 am

        Agree 100 percent. This area provides 80 percent of the tax revenue for the City and is lucky to get 20 percent of the spending. Now is the time to act and dump the City of Tallahassee.

      • Mike Reply

        November 19, 2017 at 8:42 am

        Researching about Sandy Springs seceding from Atlanta,
        I found this on governing.com:
        “Building a City from Scratch – Aug. 11, 2011
        “New municipalities are popping up around the country, rooted in dissatisfaction with traditional governments.”
        About Sandy Springs:
        Citizens in an unincorporated section of suburban Atlanta were similarly unhappy with the services Fulton County was providing. Looking for an efficient, effective government that was more responsive to local needs, 94 percent of residents voted in 2005 to create the city of Sandy Springs. Its 99,000 residents make Sandy Springs Georgia’s sixth-largest city.
        PPPs (public-private partnerships) are used to deliver most services. Crime rates have fallen, emergency response times have been reduced and the city estimates it is saving taxpayers about $20 million annually.”

        link:
        http://www.governing.com/blogs/bfc/new-cities-public-private-partnership.html

        So again, this secession from a corrupt or incompetent city government is nothing new. The City of North Tallahassee would simply be another example
        of a nationwide trend.

      • News_Maven Reply

        November 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

        Been suggesting secession in the comments section here for years.

        • News_Maven Reply

          November 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

          And if it happened tomorrow, Gillum would have to move to continue being mayor!

  10. John Paul Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 10:29 am

    A number of people have said that we in the northeast Bradfordville / Killearn should become a city but no one want to do the research and work to get it started ! People will talk about it but want someone else to do the work!!!

    • MT Reply

      November 20, 2017 at 8:57 am

      True. It will be very difficult and a lot of work, but is still a good idea. Where would the leadership and coordination for the effort come from? It will probably take the allure of a new elected office in the new city to get someone interested enough to step up and try to lead the effort.

  11. alex Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Maybe someone should investigate the Ausley Law Firm. They represent the Tall. Democrat. City of Tall. and Leon County School Board. They had to know what was going on. Also, they hired Pam Marsh, former US District Atty. Obama appointee to represent persons being intestigated by FBI.

  12. Sammantha Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Nepotism is rampant in the city, county and especially state government. The school system reeks from it. The COT is full of inbred hires and don’t even get started with state government. This place is becoming less and less desirable to live with crime and corruption mixed with inept and crooked elected and appointed officials. Where is the favor hire ethics officer?, hiding under her desk I bet.

  13. The Original Phil Reply

    November 17, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    What happened to civil service? We have castrated personnel departments. Elected officials and senior managers needs to get a moral compass and realize that working in the public sector comes with strict rules.

    • Callie Reply

      November 18, 2017 at 11:38 am

      I don’t know what rock people have been living under but this is the way it’s always been! It’s called small town! If I was looking for a job I would call friends and family to see if anyone knew of an opening or available position. This is not immoral, unethical or illegal as long as you are not directly reporting to family!

      • Preston Scott

        Preston Scott Reply

        November 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

        Wrong. In the City of Tallahassee public sector it may not be illegal, but it is clearly wrong. Just keep reading TR and learn the bitter truth. There is a requirement to post jobs, but the City routinely does not. It also hands jobs to people without qualifications for the position.

  14. Bill Carlton Reply

    November 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    No one can ever accuse them of not keeping it in the family. It is time the city commission is voted out and the majority of high paid city management terminated.

  15. Someone in the know Reply

    November 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    You rabble-rousing imbeciles are seriously grasping at straws now. You jump on Jonathan, of all people, who as CIO, has a mid-low to low salary when you look at the market rates for a chief IT officer in a similar sized organization, “muh tax dollars” or not.

    Then you unbelievably start picking on secretaries.
    REALLY?! Kristina was Jonathan’s AA at Underground Utilities too. He moved, and she came with him, but this “news” site chooses to make a thing of it.

    Every time I read this rag it makes me sick and you should all be ashamed of yourselves for your fake news bile.

    • Steve

      Steve Reply

      November 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      What is “fake” about this report?

      • Giorgios58 Reply

        December 2, 2017 at 8:43 am

        What is fake about this report is that this is claimed to somehow be immoral, unusual, specially bad. Name me ONE town or state government anywhere that does not have employed people married to each other or related to each other. Thousands of state employees married to other state employees, many of whom work for the same agency. Likewise their kids and step-kids and relatives. Bobby Bowden and Jeffy Bowden back in the day. Non-story. Fake.

  16. Aemira Reply

    November 30, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Nothing fake about this article, while some may have moved along with Johnathan his wife was allowed to write her own job qualifications and is not truly qualified for her position! It’s easy to say you are when you wrote it yourself. Do you know what it’s like to work in a place where people are constantly placed in positions of power they don’t deserve?

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