Recently the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Tallahassee City Manager Rick Fernandez had hired a lawyer to ask the city’s Independent Ethics Board to reconsider their decision to forward a complaint against Fernandez to the Florida Commission on Ethics.
That request now seems moot.
Dr. Erwin Jackson, a local business owner and watchdog of local government, has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics addressing three separate issues involving Mr. Fernandez.
Dr. Jackson told TR that “an in-depth investigation is required to determine if Mr. Fernandez has violated any ethics laws. I had hoped the Independent Ethics Board would have been able to address this issue. However, the city attorney Lew Shelley, has made that impossible by writing the city’s ethics ordinance in a way that protects city commissioners and city employees.”
The complaint and the statement of facts address a discount that the daughter of Rick Fernandez received from the Edison restaurant for a catering event, the hiring of the salesperson for the catering event, Eddie Kring, without publicly advertising the job, and accepting football tickets from the owner of the Edison restaurant and city lobbyist Adam Corey in 2016.
The formal complaint reads in part:
This complaint concerns a city manager that violated Florida’s Code of Ethics in three ways: 1) he obtained a substantial discount on catering for his daughter’s wedding reception from a company that was a city vendor and partly owned by city lobbyists; 2) the city manager provided an unadvertised city job to an employee of the caterer who helped him obtain the large discount; and 3) the city manager accepted free football tickets in a skybox owned by one of the city lobbyists that owned the catering business.
The complaint seeks to establish the legal requirement for a full investigation into the allegations by the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Not only did they get a discount, but the Executive Chef / investor oversaw the event personally. No one that worked on that event works for The Edison any longer. All have quit, except Mr. Kring who after being terminated at The Edison, got a job with the City.. Ryan Grindler is just as dirty as Adam Corey. The Bean Team does their accounting, maybe someone should start looking there.
Employees suffered by delayed payroll because Mr. Grindler thought it best to wait until either Friday after 4 when all banks closed, or on the following Monday because “bank issues”. Additionally employees were fired or quit because of witnessing the behavior of Mr. Corey and his crew and either refusing to serve them, or voicing concern about their behavior.
Dr. Mark Bonn is in the mix as well. He was with Mr. Corey on many trips and was certainly aware of the inappropriate things going on.
What a tangled web we weave. Do the Grindler’s still live in Tallahassee? Mrs. Grindler’s Facebook recently indicated she lived in Miami I am told.
Thank God Erwin Jackson has hung in there despite being vilified by anyone who could, even going back to Marks’ “reign”. The law abiding, hard working citizens of Leon Co./Tallahassee thank you, Dr. Jackson!
Mr. Fernandez must have forgotten the last part of this oath.
DIVISION 3. – ETHICS CODE
Sec. 2-3. – Loyalty oath.
All public officials and employees of the city shall, in addition to the standard loyalty oath sworn by all public employees, swear or affirm the following oath. The oath, which must be in writing and filed in the city’s records, shall read as follows:
I, ____________ , being employed by or an officer of ____________ and a recipient of public funds as such employee or officer, do hereby solemnly swear or affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Florida. I further solemnly swear or affirm that I have a commitment to the public trust, the highest standards of professionalism and ethics including a commitment to the constant appearance of propriety, always putting public trust first and never allowing personal benefit to affect my decisions and service as a public servant.
Thanks Erwin, we desperately need you to fight for the right of the people. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Hopefully, this will lead to the termination or stepping down of individuals who cannot distinguish the two.
Thanks for Erwin Jackson and Tallahassee Reports!
Truth alert; WCTV is starting to crack under the “truth to power” provided by Dr. Jackson and Tally Reports.
I base this on the WCTV elevation of Dr. J in their 8.23.17 story swiped from this TR story.
Here’s my point: for the 1st time WCTV called him “local businessman Erwin Jackson” rather than their usual disparageing monikers of “political gadfly” “frequent comission meeting disrupter” and a host of other disparageing names and the general shade they throw at Dr. J.
Congrats Dr. J you just made it into the hoity toity rare air of Tallahassee High Society.
Keep up the good fight Sir.
My Hero Dr. J!!!!
One more reason to not associate with lobbyists.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke
Except that those who did nothing, in this case, are not necessarily “good” either.
These are 3 inappropriate things that the City Manager did.
Not 3 things that need to be proven, litagated, or even reviewed by a committe.
What I mean is that person(s) in authority over the City Manager should have already taken disiplinary action aganist their employee Fernandez.
Well they have not lifted a finger or even batted an eye.
That just shows how deep the cancer of corruption has infected our city.
Just like when gillum bought personal use software with city money. This thing never should have gone to the State Attorney. gillum should have been asked for his resignation…same as a long time employee in 2008.