Undercover FBI Agent Provided Exclusive Football Tickets to City Manager, City Employees

Undercover FBI Agent Provided Exclusive Football Tickets to City Manager, City Employees

Tallahassee Reports has confirmed through a number of sources that City Manager Rick Fernandez received football tickets located in the “Old School” sky box from city lobbyist and Edison owner, Adam Corey. Corey owns the sky box.

TR has reviewed the gift records maintained by the Florida Commission on Ethics and no gift disclosure for football tickets was filed by city manager Rick Fernandez over the last two years.

Florida statutes prohibit a government employee, like Fernandez, from accepting a gift from a lobbyist if he or she knows or reasonably believes that the gift has a value in excess of $100.

Corey was a registered lobbyist during 2016.

The “Old School” sky box is actually two sky boxes that has been renovated to be one box seating up to 40 people. The annual cost of the double-box would be approximately $80,000. Individual tickets would be valued at approximately $350-$400.

TR has reached out to city officials to determine who paid for the tickets. We will publish a response when one is received.

TR has confirmed that Mike Miller, a presumed undercover FBI agent, bought several tickets in the sky box and was present at a number of FSU football games in the 2016 season.

TR has confirmed that Miller’s unused tickets were provided to Fernandez. In addition, city employees were given tickets by Fernandez to attend the games. One employee whose name was verified by sources as a frequent guest in the sky box was Ellen Blair. Ms. Blair is the current Director, Human Resources & Workforce Development at the City of Tallahassee.

Sources stated that Eddie Kring, the former Edison employee, close associate to Adam Corey and recent hire by the City of Tallahassee delivered the tickets to Fernandez.

TR has previously written about the $4,700 catering discount given to the daughter of  city manager Rick Fernandez. Sources say that Fernandez family members attended the FSU games with the tickets provided by Corey.

40 Responses to "Undercover FBI Agent Provided Exclusive Football Tickets to City Manager, City Employees"

  1. It only took a week, but the late-to-the-party local rag has this story and an op-ed on it now. They even cite TR in their story, wow!
    The op-ed reminds me of when Walter Cronkite said the Vietnam War wasn’t winnable.

    And you know what happened after that, politically.

  2. Seems like Tallahassee is the San Francisco of the east without all the cool stuff to do. Nice liberal politics. Go Noles!

  3. It’s sometimes said that “even out of bad sometimes comes some good.” The good is that TR is doing such an excellent job of real, documented investigative reporting (Tally never had such before TR), and good also that finally the FBI seems to have expended serious resources and effort in this investigation. Let’s hope it’s not dissolved, deflected, and disappears through some legal quackery as we’ve seen happen before even on a federal level.
    The bad is that the corruption in Tallahassee has grown and festered to the point that the FBI felt compelled to look into it, and that now it’s been published at a national news level. And maybe this is what Tallahassee needs: a nationally sensational corruption scandal of such a wide and deep level that the city is forced to throw out old voting habits and patterns and “start over” building a decent government of ethical individuals.

  4. Tallahassee Reports-thanks for the great reporting. The current city manager is not an improvement over the prior one; he is under the impression that he can fool the taxpayers and do whatever he wants. Gilliam is the same as John Marks but much more glib and polished.

  5. This is just a loose thread. The real gapping hole is the city is now salted with cheap apartments. The practically stopped building homes for working people in the city. Now we will have a permanent renter class that brings so much to the table, already we are getting the overflow from the worst places in the State. Just look at the shootings, graffiti, and trash. This is the perfect breeding ground for Democrats, it also will lead to collapse in a generation.

    1. Excellent points there. I’d be curious to read a story comparing the volume of rental properties being built in TLH vs. say, Gainesville, over the last decade. Whenever I drive into that two-lane by two-mile parking lot (Gaines Street) and see all the rentals I always wonder who is making the big bucks building them.

  6. Tallahassee Reports, thank you for your coverage on this. It has been outstanding.

    I’m not sure what the Tallahassee Democrat is doing, on the reporting side, other than co-mingling with the city and county officials at leadership conferences and sucking up to the local government to generate favor and advertising revenue. Disappointed Skip Foster and his crack team have allowed this to go on for so many years and they have rarely broke a story.

    Truthfully, with their resources and platform, these stories should have been generated by the TDO – and pushed out to all of us who live in Tallahassee. They are a reluctant republisher of content. They even got beat by WCTV on the NYC trip.

    Tallahassee Reports must stay viable and grow to (as some so self righteously say) “speak truth to power”.

    1. Mike – That started way before Skippy. His predecessor, Gabordi, was cozy with the local pols too. Remember his MOVE scheme? Taking long walks in the park, getting the commisars to come along?
      Speaking of the devil, looks like he’s in hot water with the trans mafia down on Cocoa right now, as he attempts another foray into Cross-Dressing for Charity:

    2. This site is never going to grow beyond Tallahassee’s conservative base. Think about it. The city as a whole is progressive and doesn’t much care for the opinions and biases of Steve and Preston.

      It’s a real shame too because the Democrat has really failed its readers. But, this site is too negative and ideologically driven to serve as any kind of replacement.

      Sorry, Mike!

    1. Ahem, we’re talking about a few crooked officials, not liberals.

      Hey Preston, here’s a guy posting off-topic in an effort to troll. Are you going to attempt to admonish him too.

        1. Just saw your comment…you do not see the relevance to the guy’s post and the story? LOL…Let me help you out a little. The city is run by illiberals. It appears as though the City Manager has some explaining to do since he did not disclose the tickets (among other things). Hence, the comment above. Nice try though.

          1. And your point, Preston? Your hypocrisy astounds me. You are the one who misdirects and misleads. I’ve listened to your program. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say so much and say nothing at the same time. The only reason anyone listens is that they happen to share your unsubstantiated opinions. If you actually took the time to really educate yourself on an issue rather than go by some biased blowhard from the Heritage Foundation or other conservative think tank, you may actually reach a different conclusion.

            In other words, your reasoning is simple minded, just like most of your listeners.

            Besides, what exactly are you trying to prove when you respond to me? You don’t argue anything. You’re just trying to bully me off the forum. Sorry, Preston, I fight back.

          2. Bruce, you’re not helping your cause any with all the name-calling and insults, and you’re making a ton of assertions that you accept as facts, but assertions don’t equal facts. If you have legitimate, factual debate material, then state it here (politely) or call into Preston’s show sometime and (calmly if able) debate an issue with him. Takes no courage or originality of thought to spit out invective from an anonymous keyboard, but takes a fair amount to stand up in a room of people or call into a live radio show and (calmly and politely, not the Code Pink sort of stand-up behavior) debate someone.

          3. You actually think talk radio shows like Preston’s are forums for debate? They’re outlets for opinionated rants. Your comment is laughable at best.

            Take a good look, Mike. None of what your man says is of much consistency. And look at how easily I can rile him up. This is your voice of reason? What a joke!

  7. I’ve seen John Marks sitting in that skybox. It’s not too late to send his rear to jail. When Gillum learned from him, he should have known that he wasn’t learning from the best.

    1. Like most dishonest ventures, the stealing always starts small…then you get away with a little here, a little there, and then next thing you know, its a lot more than cookies and cupcakes.

      Football tickets to get the skids greased, then a nice $4,000 reduction on your Edison wedding event. So Toby, football tickets may seem innocuous to you — but considering the other improprieties in the news, only a fool would conclude this is the extent of it.

    2. Yeah, tickets. There is a requirement to report gifts or show proof of paying fair market value. It is against the law. In case you have missed it – this kind of thing is part of why there has been an FBI investigation. So, yeah football tickets. Ethics may not matter to you, so be it. But it mattered to better than 70% of the voters in 2016 when they demanded an independent ethics officer and board. Citizens did not get exactly what they voted for but it seems you are in the minority who do not care.

  8. The answer is no. No federal judge is going to dismiss a case like this. These guys are in deep trouble. Judge Hinkle may be liberal but he is supremely ethical.

    I keep hearing there are several Edison “partners” – lawyer/lobbyists in trouble on this. Not going to name names on the site. I have heard 2 names – and one is alluded to on this thread above. Unfortunate if they broke the law.

    This is purely my speculation on this point, but if thats true, it would not shock me to see several more investigations come from this. When people get caught, they wear wires to catch other people.

    1. The words liberal and ethical have not been used together in a sentence in almost 10 years now.
      I do not think the FBI will consider allowing Hinkle anywhere near the forthcomming proceedings to watch their 2 & 1/2+ years of hard work just vanish in a puff of pretzel logic smoke.
      I say No Sir.

      1. I’m with Steve on this one. Skybox tickets are in the plus $500 range, not to mention the booster fees one has to pay just to be able to purchase them.

        This is bribery in its most basic form.

    1. Check out the Old School FSU Facebook page. They are selling single season seats for $2,500.00. They provide Adam Corey’s email if interested.

  9. City manager Fernandez has no ethics period. He has enough dirt on commissioners they will continue to look the other way. It is time that Fernandez be fired and we hire a new manager from outside city hall. Fernandez is up to his neck in corrupt activities that I believe the FBI will prove!

    1. And as an important side-bar, based on Fernandez’ picture in the recent Ethics referral to the State article, the man is far from good looking.
      Now it would be mean spirited to call him ugly so I’m standing behind my “far from good looking” assessment of this observable situation.

  10. Ethics Schmethics!!!
    Oddly these sleaze balls are exactly what Tallahassee voters want. The FBI should arrest 1/2 the voters in town for enabling these crooks again and again!!!
    OK I’m mostly using sarcasm here [if you are one of those no humor types that need to be told].
    But on the serious – what good will the FBI cleanup of what local voters love to elect be – if the same type of low life crooked politicians are gonna be elected again and again?
    I can only guess that the Federal Government thinks Tallahassee voters can somehow be redeemed from their stupidity. Maybe that will be true if some serious spanking is handed down by a Federal Judge.
    Every local resident already knows that ANY Leon County Judge (or lefty liberal Federal Judge Hinkle) will dismiss all charges with some sort of contrived pretzel twist of the law.
    ***Wink wink [FBI] at least if you blow your hard 2+ years of work by handing it over to one of the above Judges…”I told you so”!!!***

  11. Come on, cant you guys get anything right? FBI was yesterday it’s now FBM. But really, I hope he was “undercover” and not just another rat in the sewer. Only time will tell.

  12. Wonder if Mike Miller picked up some deals at the surplus equipment auctions Leon County holds? Some real steals over the years there…no pun intended. But then you’d have to be in the know when some “surplus” equipment and materials were going on the auction block.
    Would not surprise me if someone doesn’t start singing like a canary anytime now.

  13. I noticed that a lawyer lobbyist who is often referenced in these articles has a new advertising banner hanging at the airport. I never saw one of those before I wonder how he got that in such a prominent location…

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