Tallahassee Reports has learned that a former employee of the Edison restaurant has landed a $47,000 a year job with the City of Tallahassee’s Communications Department.
Also, documents show that the employee, Edward Kring, was the “sales rep” for the Edison catered event that resulted in a $4,700 “owners discount” for the family of Tallahassee City Manager Rick Fernandez.
TR recently published an investigative story about the discount.
In addition, TR has learned that the job was not publicly advertised. Rather, it was advertised only within the the City’s Communications Department over the Christmas holidays in 2016 for one week. The Communications Department is listed as having a total of eight employees.
TR has obtained documents that show 3 months after the discounted catering event, which took place in March 2016, Mr. Kring submitted an application to the City of Tallahassee’s Communications Department and was subsequently hired in a temporary position in October.
This temporary position allowed Mr. Kring to have access to the full-time position that was advertised to only employees in the Communications Department.
On December 23rd, 2016 the head of the Communications Department, Alison Faris, signed an employment requisition form for a “Customer Involvement Coordinator.” Based on city organization charts available online, Ms. Faris reports directly to City Manager Rick Fernandez.
You can review the employment requisition here.
The requisition form indicates the position was new and instructed the city’s human relations department to “Please advertise for one week internal to Communications.”
The form also shows that Ms. Faris requested advertising dates to be from 12/24-12/30. These seven advertising days include the 24th and 25th, which was a weekend, and the 26th, which was a holiday for most of the employees that work with the City of Tallahassee.
On December 29, 2016 Mr. Kring submitted his employment application for the position. Also, Mr. Kring listed his job title as a “Community Affairs Director” with the Tallahassee Hospitality Group and also listed his affiliation with the Edison.
Adam Corey, the owner of the Edison and the Tallahassee Hospitality Group, was listed as a reference on the employment application.
Tallahassee Reports was told that Mr. Kring’s application was the only application received by the City of Tallahassee for the position.
To secure funds for the new position, emails obtained by TR show that Ms. Faris requested a vacant position be transferred from Star Metro to the communications department on January 13, 2017.
Further investigation revealed that the position in Star Metro had been vacant since January 31, 2015. When it was occupied, the salary was $30,118. Mr. Kring was hired into the position at $47,840.
When contacted by Tallahassee Reports, Ms. Faris said that Mr. Kring was well qualified for the position. She cited his work in a community affair’s position with the Big Bend Homeless Coalition from September 2011 to January 2014. Mr. Kring listed his annual salary in that position as $29,000.
Ms. Faris said the position was transferred from Star Metro as part of the city’s reorganization in 2016.
Ms. Faris also told TR that since Mr. Fernandez is her boss, he was aware of the hire.