In a convoluted decision that is sure to keep the controversy surrounding the pension payments of former City Commissioner Debbie Lightsey alive, the City’s Independent Ethics Board dismissed a complaint filed by local businessman Erwin Jackson, but called for further investigation.
The Ethics Officer, Julie Meadows-Keefe, recommended the compliant be dismissed “without investigation because it fails to state a violation of the City’s Ethic Code”.
When presenting her recommendation to the Board, Meadows-Keefe stated “No factual investigation preceded this review, and therefore this recommendation does not reflect on the accuracy of the allegations of the Complaint”.
And while the Board voted unanimously to dismiss the complaint, they also directed the Ethics Officer to provide more information about deferred compensation and to determine if the scheme impacted the benefits given to Lightsey and any other city commissioners.
Our previous report on this issue can be viewed here.
The complaint addressed the calculation of Ms. Lightsey’s monthly pension payment on a yearly salary of approximately $57,000 when the City Charter clearly states commissioner salaries were set at approximately $36,000.
The pension paperwork obtained through a public record request, shown below, indicates the three high salaries used to calculate Lighsey’s monthly pension payments. The salaries range from $56,158 to $59,792.
However, the pension paperwork is in conflict with the Lightsey’s salaries as recorded by the City’s Human resource department.
The City’s human resource department provided TR with the salaries for all city commissioners from 2000-2010.
For the years that Lightsey’s monthly pension payment was calculated, 2006-2008, the document below shows that the salaries for city commissioners ranged between $34,507 and $35,963, which is consistent with the City Charter.
Why was Lightsey’s pension calculated using higher salary numbers? Stay tuned.
So much ignorance of the legal process and far from objective reporting. “Convoluted?” It’s a legal document in a legal proceeding. Steve must have gone to Kaplan law school online. The ancient history slung at the Board was word salad. The Board asked for more information to be given in a public meeting so this issue gets more rehash after being fully aired 6 years ago before the Board even existed. Have fun with it until you get a better, more timely issue
Hope, are suggesting that stealing from the public is ok if your a woman? The extra funds she will enjoy are less than a half million dollars. Others have taken more! Let’s name a city park after her!!
We thank you for your work and efforts, but it is past time to move on and there comes a point when this is counterproductive.
You missed the point.
I do agree about the naming of a park after her.
Ms. Lightsey is receiving benefits on a salary of “$56,000,” however her salary is established by city charter to be $36,000. What city official decided to give her this extra monthly cash benefit. Funny, no city official wants to take credit for this theft of city assets. She is receiving about $1200 unearned dollars each month from the tax payer. This is not an old story, this money does not belong to her. She and unknown city employees organized this theft of city resources. Ethics policies do not allow this board to investigate potential criminal activities. This theft needs to be STOPPED!!!!!
I agree the situation should be pursued as a possible criminal violation. Meanwhile, the city should be reviewing its legal options regarding termination of the questionable pension amount, and the recovery of any inappropriate amount paid out, just as it would with any erroneous over payment. If a city employee was erroneously paid too much in a pay cycle, does he/she get too keep it? Seems like the same thing to me.
To ignore the CDA problems, high crime rate, three elected officials not living in their district, etc…and continuing to beat this dead horse – especially when it is against a woman – (who has contributed much)is short sighted, petty, and misogynistic. A complete waste of time and energy. It is time to move on.
Pulling the female card!!! That took some real energy and thought!! Not…
Also, I can multi-task by taking on several problems at once, thanks.
Thanks for your insight Ms. Lightsey.
No female card in play here. You, too missed the point. Just pointing out that much corruption by “male” officials is ignored…that is felonious, immoral, and has made Tallahassee #1 in crime in Florida.
The law demands that a legally insufficient complaint must fail. The Ethics Board followed the law. The citizens should expect nothing less.
The ‘deferred compensation'(DC) the commissioners (other than Mark Mustian)voted themselves is not deferred compensation. DC is put aside by the employee out of their salary. This did not happen here.
This is another George Orwellian decision in a long string of other similar decisions.
If it is deferred Compensation how can it be included in monthly compensation when it was not paid monthly?
If it was monthly compensation, it should have been taxed as such but it was not. You can not have it both ways.
I wish the Ethic Commission would just say, Debbie Lightsey stole the money fair and square and then disband themselves and save us the embarrassment of having them insult the intelligence of every third grader in the State.
Tell me again what an “Ethics Board” is supposed to do? Wouldn’t it by implication require ethical people to run and occupy it?
The right decision…Kudos to the city ethics officer for a job well done! Let’s move on and move forward and focus on the present and future.
This is present time and future. They are stealing from the tax payers!!!!
What? Just let them cheat huh? Dumb ass Democrat
The City Ethics officer doesn’t seem that independent.
Unfortunately, when a city of idiots continues to vote crooks into office, we deserve what we get. This highlights a great reason to make voting a privilege instead of handing out voter registration like candy and betting uninformed people to come to the polls.