According to agenda item documents to be presented to the full City Commission on Wednesday, Mayor Andrew Gillum is recommending that Ms. Lila A. Jaber be appointed to the newly-created 7-member Ethics Board, which is being organized pursuant to a recent City Charter amendment adopted by voters during the November, 2014 general election.
Ms. Jaber was an original member of the City’s Ethics Advisory Panel and one of two votes against an appointed ethics officer. Instead, Ms. Jaber advocated for putting the ethics officer under the authority of the City Attorney.
During the ethics panel debate Ms. Jaber said, “I am not for a board because I do not want to promote confusion. Give the City Attorney a chance.”
Ms. Jaber is currently listed as a member the Citizens Advisory Committee on Utilities. Appointments to that board are made by the City Manager, Anita Favors-Thompson.
Also, public records show Ms. Jaber has donated $500 to each of Mayor Gillum’s last two campaigns for office.
The referendum language gives the authority for the appointment to the full City Commission. It appears that Mayor Gillum feels stong enough about the position to make a recommendation.
If the City Commission concurs with the Mayor’s recommendation, Ms. Jaber will join Board members appointed by Chief Judge for the Second Judicial Circuit, State Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, President of Florida State University, and President of Florida A&M University.
The Charter amendment specifies that the initial five members shall appoint two additional members to bring the Ethics Board membership to a total of seven members.
To date, Mr. Cecil Davis has been appointed by the State Attorney and Mr. Funmi Ojetayo has been appointed by the President of Florida A&M.
Records show no recent political donations to campaigns for City offices by these two appointments.
Earlier this week Chief Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit has declined to make an appointment. FSU President Thrasher has not yet presented an appointment to the Ethics Board.