Dr. Erwin Jackson told Tallahassee Reports he has become a messenger for people who know of public corruption but do not have the resources or the freedom to speak out.
His recent publicity from presentations at the city commission meetings and his regular Facebook posts have generated numerous phone calls from individuals who claim to have witnessed the misuse of city resources by high ranking officials.
Information from these phone calls and subsequent meetings was the focus of allegations addressed at a press conference held today by Dr. Jackson.
The allegations are supported by some documents, but mostly rest on statements made by current and former city employees and other individuals.
The allegations center around the personal use of city employees in the City’s Underground Utilities Department by city officials. These officials include Mayor Andrew Gillum and City Manager Rick Fernandez.
At the time of these allegations, current City Manager Rick Fernandez was the Assistant City Manager over the Underground Utilities Department and Mayor Andrew Gillum was a city commissioner.
At the press conference, Jackson outlined four specific allegations and said he was taking the information to law enforcement officials.
Water Pipe Repair for Fernandez Family
City employees have told Jackson that a work crew was directed by Mike Tadros, head of Underground Utilities, to replace a water pipe on the customer side of the water meter at a home owned by the family of City Manager Rick Fernandez.
City employees said they told management that the faulty water pipes were the responsibility of the homeowner.
The work was valued at approximately $700-$1,000 and took place around 2010.
Property records show the home at the center of the allegation is located at 435 Richview Park Circle East and was owned by the Rick Fernandez, his wife, and his daughter from 2003 to 2015.
Fernandez Pool Work
City employees claim that Tim Potter, the Manager of Operations for Underground Utility and Public Infrastructure, picked up a city employee from an active city work site and headed to the home of City Manager Rick Fernandez at 3516 Raymond Diehl Road to work on a pool pump.
Sources say the two employees stopped by a Lowes Home Improvement store on the way to the city manager’s home to pick up materials.
Property records show Rick Fernandez currently owns 3516 Raymond Diehl which was purchased in 1989.
Repairs at Gillum’s Home
Jackson provided city documents that show city employees were directed to City Commissioner Andrew Gillum’s home at least three times within five weeks in 2010.
On November 10, 2010 a work order shows that a city employee was sent to 5325 St. Ives Lane to investigate a water leak. The work order shows that the city employee determined the problem was a “customer leak.”
On December 15, 2010 another work order was created and a city employee informed Tim Potter that the leak was “on his side.”
On December 16, 2010 another work order was created and again noted the leak was in the back yard and was the customer’s responsibility.
Dr. Jackson reported that several individuals have come forward to say that the City of Tallahassee repaired the leak in the back yard of Gillum’s home.
Property records show Gillum owned the home at 5325 St. Ives Lane from 2004 through 2015.
Replacement of Pressure Reducing Valve for City Employee
On April 21, 2009 a work order shows that a pressure reducing valve was replaced at 3493 Gardenview Way.
City employees claim that the replacement of a pressure reducing valve is the responsibility of the customer not the City of Tallahassee.
Property records show that the owner of the home in 2009 was Michelle Bono, who at the time was the assistant to City Manager Anita Favors.