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.
The consolidation of power in this community is a part of the problem. There is an inner circle of people that run this town. They have their fingers into everything. I think a limitation on the number of boards a person can sit on would be a start. If one serves on the city or county commission, they should not be allowed on serve on other boards, even as a volunteer for a nonprofit board. Let more people into the political process.
And this Mayor want’s to run for Gov. What a joke.
And this Mayor want’s to run for Gov. What a joke. Can you here me now?
And this Mayor want’s to run for Gov. What a joke
Sounds like Richard has given us a “Red” Herring. It’s only ethics related if it’s not one of their own.
More crooked politicians. They should all be fired.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I wonder do they enjoy the same perks as the Commissioners? Cell phone, car money, office spending account, etc? Seems like a lot of money being spent with no ROI for taxpayers…
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?
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.