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City Ethics Board Refuses to Investigate Mayor Gillum

Posted on May 17, 2017

City Ethics Board Refuses to Investigate Mayor Gillum

Tallahassee Reports has learned that the City of Tallahassee’s independent ethics board has decided not to investigate the possible misuse of city resources by Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Several media outlets have reported on Gillum’s use of city email and other city resources for political related activities.

The order signed by Board Chair Richard Herring said “having reviewed documents related to the above-referenced matter, and having heard explanation, having discussion and conducting a vote….The Independent Ethics Board will not self-initiate a complaint regarding misuse of city resources.”

The order was released after the Ethics Board meeting on May 16, 2017.

Sources have told Tallahassee Reports that the decision was not based on the merits of the accusations lodged against Gillum, but rather the lack of authority of the Ethics Board.

Tallahassee Reports wrote in March that the City’s Ethics Board was seeking more authority from the City of Tallahassee.

In a letter to the City Commission, the Board said that the Ethics Board counsel concluded the Board lacks concurrent jurisdiction with the Florida Commission on Ethics. The Ethics Board informed the City Commission that this finding significantly limits the Board’s formal jurisdiction.

The Board also asked the City Commission to amend relevant ordinances to allow for complaints to be addressed in four areas. One of the areas was misuse of office.

The Ethics Board told the City Commission the Board “believes they should be able to address complaints concerning any City official or employee who uses his or her public position for more than minimal private benefit of any person.”

The City Commission has yet to respond to the request by the Ethics Board.

17 Responses to City Ethics Board Refuses to Investigate Mayor Gillum

  1. Dice man Reply

    May 17, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    ethical is not legal and when they are confused it is corrupted by one or all. Only the best character, integrity, and honesty will find the truth and this board should have the tools needed to do so as voters intended.

  2. Mary Eppinger Reply

    May 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Seems to me that we need to clean the swamp of the Ethics Board. If they are unable to call for an investigation of what looks like corruption by our Mayor then what good are they?

  3. JJ Reply

    May 17, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Can we disband the ethics office? How much money is spent on an office that does nothing? $100,000 $200,000 a year? Do they ever investigate anything? This has been a colossal disaster. I lobbied friends and colleagues to vote for this ethics board and now I regret it. We have been duped and this board is just another waste of money by our government. How many employees work in the ethics office? What is their budget and what do they spend it on?
    Have they ever actually investigated anything? Seems like another cushy government job. What a disappointment this has been.

    • Luther Lee Reply

      May 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      JJ, I think you can find that information in the city budget, or you could copy and paste your questions into an email and send it to the public records account @ Records@talgov.com Either way, I’m curious to see what you find.

      • Russell Price Reply

        May 18, 2017 at 6:24 pm

        Budget for Ethics Department for FY 2016-2017 is $338,103. Personnel expense accounts for $169,000+/-. Not sure how many positions…1.5 FTE I think.

        • News_Maven Reply

          May 19, 2017 at 5:09 pm

          Russell, that’s CRAZY! Another colossal waste of taxpayer money.
          It IS absolutely worthless, because the Commissars circumvented the will of the people in creating it.
          SHUT.
          IT.
          DOWN.
          NOW.

  4. sheldon Reply

    May 18, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Another reason to hate this sorry excuse for a Capital City. The pathetic part is the lemmings that fill this town and willingly bend over and take it.

  5. Joe Reply

    May 18, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I’ll say it again. IF YOU NEED A BOARD OR COMMITTEE TO MONITOR AND REGULATE YOUR ETHICS……….YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY. This seems pretty simple to me.

  6. E Reply

    May 18, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    This whole article is about his use of a government for campaign purposes. In light of all the things going on in Washington, why is this so terrible. If anything the title looks purposely incinery in order to appeal to people of a particular mindset.

    • Preston Scott

      Preston Scott Reply

      May 21, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      You are kidding, right? You are going to determine the ethical standards of local government by comparing it to Washington? Ehhh…no. The title accurately reflects what the “Ethics Commission” has done since it was created. Nothing. It refuses to do so.

  7. Preston Scott

    Preston Scott Reply

    May 19, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Sadly, my prediction of how utterly useless this entire board and its officer would be the moment it was assembled has come 100% true. You will have choices in the next election cycle. Take advantage voters. The only way to change this is from within. The Commission and senior staff are (with few exceptions) tainted and compromised.

  8. Jay Bird Reply

    May 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    The Ethics Board is the standing joke told around watercoolers everywhere. Bought by the politicians and funded by the tax payer. The Mayor, City Manager and every single City Commissioner should be ashamed of themsrlves. They are only looking out for themselves and not the voter.

  9. Geno Arroyo Reply

    May 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    More crooked politicians. They should all be fired.

  10. Ken Reply

    May 22, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Sounds like Richard has given us a “Red” Herring. It’s only ethics related if it’s not one of their own.

  11. Joe Shiver Reply

    May 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    And this Mayor want’s to run for Gov. What a joke

  12. Joe Shiver Reply

    May 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    And this Mayor want’s to run for Gov. What a joke.

    • Joe Shiver Reply

      May 22, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      And this Mayor want’s to run for Gov. What a joke. Can you here me now?

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