Edison Owner Faces More Questions About Conflicts with City of Tallahassee

Edison Owner Faces More Questions About Conflicts with City of Tallahassee

Tallahassee Reports has learned that Adam Corey, the owner of The Edison in Cascades Park and the former campaign treasurer for Mayor Andrew Gillum, was appointed to the Tallahassee Housing Authority (THA) in 2014 even though he was being paid by an association that has financial ties through association members with the THA.

The Board serves as the governing officers of the Tallahassee Housing Authority through the formal adoption of policy. The Board ensures that the Authority’s purpose and accompanying responsibilities are carried out in as efficient and economical manner as possible.

Mr. Corey was appointed to the THA Board at a May 14, 2014 City Commission meeting. The vote was 4-0, with City Commissioner Andrew Gillum absent.

At the time, Mr. Corey was serving as campaign treasurer for Gillum who was seeking to be elected Mayor.

Mr. Corey indicated no potential conflicts on the application provided to the City Commission when he was appointed. The application can be viewed here.

However, public records show that Corey has represented the Coalition of Affordable Housing Providers (CAHP) before the Florida Legislature since 2011.

The association currently includes Pinnacle Housing Group and the Housing Trust Group as members. A Pinnacle Housing Group representative serves on the CAHP board.

Both groups, Pinnacle Housing and the Housing Trust Group, are currently doing business with the Tallahassee Housing Authority. Source here.

Does Mr. Corey have a conflict of interest?

The Florida state code of ethics states “that an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.”

The Florida Commission on Ethics has ruled in several opinions that this rule applies to city housing authorities. Source: Opinions/Commission on Ethics Opinions/2007/CEO 07-1

TR reached out to Larry White, legal counsel to the THA and he directed us to Lew Shelley’s office, the City Attorney. We have left a detailed message and are awaiting a response.

The application for City Board appointees is designed to reveal “potential conflicts” by asking applicants to reveal financial interests related to board business. However, TR has not been able to determine who at the City  is responsible for reviewing the applications and checking public records to verify information.

Mr. Corey has been in the news over the last year concerning his connections with Mayor Andrew Gillum and the development of the Edison restaurant in Cascades Park.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported earlier this week that Mr. Corey, who also serves on the Downtown Improvement Authority, has failed to file the required financial disclosure forms.

10 Responses to "Edison Owner Faces More Questions About Conflicts with City of Tallahassee"

  1. Tallahassee is a tiny city and few people can invest or be involved in trades, deals and investments. Every person who is ‘someone’ in this town has some sort of conflict of interest with someone else lest they do nothing.

    Am I the only one who thinks that maybe, just maybe, getting this city away from its 8th position in the country as the most dangerous place to live should be addressed instead of wasting time and money trying to mess up the administration… just saying…

      1. Jon, I think what Michele is saying is that rather than us focusing on our corrupt, unethical, criminal Politian’s; we should focus on crime. Daisyduck agrees with her. So if we connect the dots and put everyone’s point together it would read something like this: Dear Elected Officials, please stop focusing on you corrupt, unethical, pocket-padding projects. Instead, please focus on reducing our local crime rate, supporting our Police Department, and our overall public safety.

  2. With our not-so-independent local ethics officer, it is apparent that the State of Florida Commission on Ethics is going to have to be the go-to entity. While it has been greatly hampered from doing much to public officials due to weak state laws, everyone should know that there is legislation being presented to greatly enhance its authority. We need to learn more and support these efforts. Remember, this is the entity that unanimously found probable cause against former Mayor John Marks only to have an administrative judge, and Marks buddy, kick it out. The actions by the COT are so frequently and obviously unethical we have to stay after them. Thank goodness for TR. I have washed my hands of the local Ethics Board and officer – they are useless and not adhering to the City Charter – so we must take the fight elsewhere.

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