City Initiates Audit of City Contracts with Miller’s Family

City Initiates Audit of City Contracts with Miller’s Family

A month after Tallahassee Reports published a series of stories about the City of Tallahassee connections with family members of City Commissioner Nancy Miller, the City Auditor has initiated a special audit to look into some of those connections.

Specifically, Auditor Bert Fletcher is looking into approximately $450,000 paid to DPB & Associates between October 2014 and May 2017. DPB & Associates is connected to Commissioner Miller through her brother-in-law, Rich Buss, who is a principal in the company.

TR reported about these expenditures on June 28, 2017.

TR also reported on the fact that the brother of Rich Buss, John Buss -who is Commissioner Miller’s husband – approved the expenditures.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported Tuesday that Auditor Bert Fletcher said the decision to conduct a “special audit inquiry” was based on information brought to the attention of the Auditor’s Office and the city’s independent ethics officer.

The audit will address the approval of  a continuing services agreement for eight companies -which included DPB & Associates – that could be hired to conduct civil site work engineering.

Continuing service agreements give city staff the authority to choose the vendor based on qualifications and are not based on competitive pricing bids for each project.

31 Responses to "City Initiates Audit of City Contracts with Miller’s Family"

  1. The manager with underground utilities was employed by raw Construction at one time. is it funny that Raw construction has all the boring contracts now in their pocket.

  2. This calls for 2 City ordinances:
    1. No vendor licensed with the City shall be awarded any contract if the vendor is owned by or employs any family member of a City employee or Commissioner; and
    2. City Commissioners shall not accept any campaign contribution from a vendor licensed to conduct business with the City.

  3. I’d like to call attention to the fact this is what happens when there is good, fact based, investigative reporting. Had the Tallahassee Democrat, WCTV, and WTXL joined TR, instead of trying to belittle, marginalize, or outright ignore the obvious stories and given even more attention to the “insiders” and their City (elected and appointed) cohorts the City may not be in the spot it is in right now. It’s sad, but it has given rise to an outstanding resource for our community. Thank you, TR!

    1. Thank you Preston.
      Recent events in Houston remind me of who I got my only available news from during and after Hurricane Hermine.
      I recall your voice as we prayed to God the beautiful trees above my home stayed up there. And they did.
      It was Preston and Rick Flag who served our community by giving up their home and family time to keep us informed 24 hours non stop on my hand crank powered radio/flash light combo as we struggled with no power for 7 days.
      Preston we all owe you a big Thank You for your service and ongoing wisdom!

  4. Liberal voting Democrats (never saw a tax they did not vote for ) of which this Leon Co. is made up of , will reelect these questionable cats until the cows come home, and there is not much common sense folks can do about it. It”s a shame as otherwise Tallahassee would be a great place to live your life , but the 7.5% sales tax (highest in the state) plus the liberal give away policies of local government (particularly if you mention the southside) are almost insurmountable barriors to good government and will remain so until a population exodis wakes up the remaining electorate . (we are already the slowest growth rate in the state)

    1. How about a proposal to de-annex the northside, and have it as it’s own city? It could be called “North Tallahassee, Florida.” We’d have our own commissioners, property tax rates, etc.
      Of course, the boundaries would encircle John Marx’s Bobbin Brook home.

      1. Great idea, News Maven – “City of North Tallahassee” and one I’ve outlined several times on TR in two past years. The example I use is the secession of several Atlanta suburbs in the mid 2000s. The new cities established their own school districts and governments. Quote: “These cities, after breaking away politically from urban Atlanta, have become so successful that a libertarian think tank, the Reason Foundation, has featured Sandy Springs as a model of effective government.”

        Largely, the secessions were due to systemic “corruption” in Atlanta-centralized government that had gone on for years, and the suburbs just gave up on Atlanta and started anew. North Tallahassee can do the same.

        Interesting that one Atlanta City Representative tried to sue to have the new city charters ruled illegal, stating: “They’re leaving and taking their money with them”. Obviously they missed the taxes of those they had so long abused, and were left with only those they had not taken care of to begin with.

        In my own humble view, the prevailing demographics and politics of Tallahassee closely resemble Atlanta, and establishing the City of North Tallahassee would be the clearest path out – we can use Atlanta as a model. “Tallahassee Central”, as presently composed, is in my view nearly beyond rehabilitation.
        Very sorry to say that because I love the city, but the voting must change or we all go down the tubes with it.

      2. I like it. North Tallahassee has nothing in common with South Tallahassee.

        One condition: StarMetro must be banned in the North.

  5. Until State and Local Government isn’t the biggest employer in this town, the sheeple will continue to vote corrupt, pandering Democrats into local office.

    If there was a way to make money off that thought, I’d bet the farm.

  6. Seems pretty obvious that Bert Fletcher was ordered to whitewash this and issue a report that says everything is okay. Current city auditors do not have a reputation for courage. They were underfunded for many years after they did a report on massive fraud in the City Fleet Maintenance Dept. They do not want to be punished again, so Bert will certainly find a away to justify Miller’s actions.

    1. So, the city auditor, a city employee, is going to conduct an audit on his employer. The city auditor is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the city commission. Just how “independent” does anyone think he is? The current city auditor once said, “My office doesn’t audit the city commissioners, they are my boss.”
      Good luck Citizens, just don’t expect much real independence.

  7. IT’S TIME for new leadership on the City Commission. It is clear almost daily. Please visit to see a new choice for YOUR City Commission. A candidate who will never forget who he works for, YOU!

  8. It might end soon. Once the FBI starts arresting the local pond scum. Oh sorry, I mean Tallahassee’s ruling class.

  9. Were Nancy Miller’s daughter, Betsy Couch, and Scott Maddox’s business partner, Paige Carter Smith, compensated for their recent PR work at WCOT?

  10. the city of Tallahassee is employment for her whole family, her husband is the assistant general manager of underground utilities her son works with underground utilities why not get the rest of her family involved. Did not see none of their names on the layoff list not even Rick’s Fernandez daughter. Rick Fernandez and the underground utilities will sacrifice employees to keep their family working with the city

      1. Her daughter is with Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI), the philanthropic propaganda arm of Knight Ridder, the former owner of the Tallahassee Democrat. The crowning achievement of KCCI was the development of Cascades Park.

        This is the happy marriage of lcl government and non-profits here in Tallahassee. Non-profit relationships pay.

  11. And Miller, according to TD, had her Brother-in-law’s company name right in front of her on the Commission agenda and said she didn’t know it was there.

    1. Hard to believe isn’t it? Play dumb if there is no other explanation. Usually they give out NO bid contracts, but when they actually do vote for one it’s worse! Miller managed to break her own record on her corruptness regarding contract awards. You have to give her credit for nerve. Does it ever end?

        1. She doesn’t prepare for the commission meetings. She doesn’t do her homework and just wings it. That’s why many of her comments and questions seem are so uninformed.

  12. These contracts should only be competitively bid by “Qualified, Licensed contractors…..not “FAMILY”….HOW CAN THIS GO UNNOTICED??????
    SO RIDICULOUS….And should be illegal.

  13. Kind of sounds like the city may be interfering with an ongoing Federal investigation with this “special audit inquiry”. If I was in Lew Shelly’s position I would coordinate this matter with the local FBI office.

      1. I agree that legally it is 2 separate issues at this point.
        However based on what we already know about the honesty and integrity of our elected officials and upper COT management I wager this “special audit inquiry” likely involves the liberal application of several gallons of white-wash and the disappearance of several documents.
        I also wager the protection of Nancy Miller is not the goal of this “special audit inquiry” as it may seem.
        Most likely the focus is to protect someone much more important and higher up the chain of corruption than little dirty minnow Nancy. Nancy is a totally disposable commodity at this point in the game. Nancy may be offered up as a sacrifice to make the whole thing go away.
        FBI looks good (they got Nancy) our precious leaders look good. Nothing more to see here move along now.

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