One day after the City of Tallahassee elected officials said they would wait until the ethics investigation into City Manager Rick Fernandez accepting football tickets from a city lobbyist was complete, Fernandez has decided to take paid administrative leave.
Tallahassee Reports first broke the story about the City Manager taking football tickets from Adam Corey in August, 2017.
A City of Tallahassee press release issued just before 5:00 P.M. today stated:
Today, Tallahassee City Manager Ricardo “Rick” Fernandez notified the City Commission that he will be taking administrative leave effective immediately until the matter before the Florida Commission on Ethics is resolved.
The decision comes after City Commissioner Gil Ziffer informed his colleagues on Monday that he had asked Fernandez to place an item on the city’s November 8th agenda addressing his suspension until the investigation was complete.
Ms Andrews, your comments are outstanding and I hope all of the city commissioners take notice and take the approiate action.
Letter to the Editor blasts Tricky Ricky:
My sincere hope is that the FBI (and Gov. Scott and the FDLE) decide to make an EXAMPLE of COT officials to discourage corruption in other Florida City and County governments. What better place to “clean house” than the Florida Capital City, and demonstrate that such corruption and taxpayer theft won’t be tolerated in our state?
Other Florida city-county officials who see such an Example made of Tallahassee corruption might be very reluctant to share the hard fate of COT officials that were found guilty.
FBI investigators, Gov. Scott (and successor), I hope you’re reading this!
Per Franklin Thompson’s comment: Let’s use the word Criminal INTENT instead of blatant.
Per Hopes initial additional laundry list of demonstrated MISFeasance, MALfeasance and NONfeasance – their is a demonstrable pattern of Financial misuse and Breach of professional position and misuse of Public Trust.
And we have just scratched the surface:
15) Cynthia Barber’s advancement over Police, Fire, Emergency Response and Consolidated Dispatch with NO experience in any of those fields while Tallahassee’s crime rate spirals to EPIC porportions;
16) Alison Faris’s recent promotion over Communication’s while hiring/promoting Kring (Fernandez’s inside man) while intentionally misrepresenting the availability of prima facia evidence; look into the establishment and financing of non-profit – the NFBPA (National Forum for Black Professional Administrators) by Barber and Anita Favor Thompson, Angela Hendrieth. Look up NFBPA on the City’s ‘tranparent’ Check book….
16) And plenty more to add to the list.
Come on FBI, State Attorney’s Office, RICO; call it what it is and prosecute all these folks.
Tallahassee deserves better than this.
Talk about being caught with your hand in the cookie jar Rocky admitted he knew of no wrongdoing and he wrote misleading and false statements in the summaries of the notebook. If nothing happened to Rocky why would anything happen to Mr. Fernandez? I think bothmade false and misleading comments.
Now that Fernandez has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, how about the city public records officer and the city’s communications director. They said no such information (emails) existed. We know that was not true. Let’s clean house.
Both should be placed on ‘non paid’ administrative leave til new permanent City Manager is appointed!
Let’s Talk Blatant:
1. Fernandez asking for these tickets;
2. Nancy Miller voting her brother-in-law a city contract;
3. gillum buying personal software for personal use with city $$$.
This mess is wide spread and the City elected officials have the gall to send us a letter telling us we can trust them???
Please add to name a few more:
4) Fernandez’s raises to himself and cronies.
5) Nancy Miller’s TAPP (slush fund) to Yordon.
6) Gillum/Maddox/Fernandez/Pingree’s junket to Manhattan.
7) Gillum’s trip to New York with the FBI.
8) Maddox’s trip to Las Vegas with the FBI.
9) Maddox’s relationships with CRA benefactors.
10) Gillum’s $1 million payout to campaign treasurer for Edison.
11) Ziffer’s $100,000 settlement for family
12) Maddox, Miller, & Ziffer forgoing a nationwide search to secure a qualified City Manager so corruption could continue with Fernandez secured in the position.
13) Maddox’s sketchy real estate and business dealings.
14) Fernandez rewarding people for favors.
Their credibility letter fools no one, but themselves!
15) Maddox’s residency scam
16) Marks’ residency scam including annexing only his property into the City AFTER he was elected mayor of the city
17) Maddox’s sexual escapades with his assistant inside his City Hall office when he was mayor
and on and on and on…this game is fun
Good job on the roundup!
So is Ric Fernandez hanging out while he is suspended with pay?
This is so ridiculous, pay him for lying about his records.
He needs to tuck tail and get the hell out of town, first pay back that little discount to the Edison right before they shut the doors.
Bye bye, Ric, and take the rest of them with you.
It is my understanding that Fernandez and Pingree are related. He had a gig at the Miami Zoo, so he is well qualified for the City of Tallahassee zoo.
If you compel him to answer in an administrative investigation, his statement could not be used in a criminal investigation. The FBI may have asked the City not to interview him for that reason.
Everyone involved with the City with this single debacle should be held accountable, including Fernandez’s staff. This puts Edward Kring at the top of the list (Communications Department under Faris) and Ellen Blair (Director of Personnel) who was reported to be at the game(s) via this illegal transaction. Who else from the City? So where again is the City’s Ethic officer? Also the intentional withholding of this information from a formal Public Record request is directed by Matt Lutz should be included, this demonstrates intent.
You should never hire upper management from within to oversee the interest of the public in a tax payer funded government entity.
Promotion from within in the private sector is how business is done [in the private sector] because the profit and loss of the business keeps private sector upper management in check.
Snidely’s general rant:
Quite likely those responsible for Rick’s promotion did so because they thought Rick would provide cover for their nefarious and elaborate schemes to steal from the taxpayers by instilling a culture of fear, intimidation, and retaliation in Rick’s underlings at COT. And Rick already knew the system; leaving his nefarious masters more time to steal from the taxpayers and less time training a newby City Manager. But Rick got greedy, feeling as powerful as God (or Anita Favors), and let his nefarious masters down.
“Take a leave of absence Rick. You are NOT Anita Favors Sir.”
Anita Favors could get away with what Rick did. And for years upon years she did exactly that. And Rick watched her do it too. That’s why Rick thought it was OK!!! But Rick you are not Anita Favors in so many ways.
The law enforcement branch of the Federal Government stopped taking the “look the other way” policies of the former administration in DC almost a year ago now. Leftists are still struggling to come to terms with the honesty and general best interest of America being promoted by the new administration in DC.
You are right, those responsible for Rick’s promotion did so because they thought he would cover for them…remember who initiated his promotion? Yep Scott Maddox.
Anita had Rick to cover for her Rick doesn’t have anyone like that. If Anita were still in charge the information about Rick using the City to do work at his and the Mayor’s house would never have been brought out to light because Rick would have kept the lid on it.
Rocky Hanna should also take a leave until such time that as tbe school boatd openly discusses about how any why he and Woody mislead our school system and community. The report by Hank Coxe needs to be front and center along with the documents associated with Mr. Hanna having a teacher transferred after she stopped dating him when he was the Principal of Leon High.
When the FBI drops the case, Rocky and Woody should be made to repay the $600,000 that it cost the tax payers to investigate their false claims. If the School Board does not discuss this, all of them need to be replaced.
A Clean Sweep of COT Leadership (3) in 2018; and (2) in 2020 Mandatory! Let’s not keep voting these “clowns”/ incumbents in office! It’s time for a clean sweep CITIZENS; otherwise, same $hit, different year(s)! If not, citizens of Tallahassee you are to BLAME! Let’s see what you really made of at the 2018 election cycle! Opportunity to send a strong cohesive message! Let’s take our City back from these clowns and their cohorts! Dr. Erwin Jackson for Mayor of Tallahassee, 2018!
At this point, doesn’t matter who is on the 2018 election ballot! As long as those (3) incumbents ‘clowns’ are no longer in their respective seats at the end of the day!
I very much appreciate what Erwin Jackson has done to expose the ‘potential’ public corruption in local government. Had it not been for Erwin Jackson, the Citizens of Tallahassee and Leon County would not have known how they were being played. However, I would not vote for him for any public office. I would happily support him on any public watchdog group, taxpayer ombudsman (not sure what to call it), and if he were given full access to budgets, records, and relationships.
Fernandez should resign. Doesn’t matter whether he asked for them first or they made an offer weeks or months before. Public employees do not take gifts.
Let’s just make sure they do a national search and find a good replacement and not another asst city manager that will be giving us the same BS.
The only way that would happen is if the City Commission has nothing to do with the hiring decision. This city is ridiculously corrupt for its size.
That should be a quick investigation. Swear him in and ask him if he sent the text message and if he took the tickets. Compel him to answer the question. If he lies, charge him with perjury. This could easily be completed in one day!
That already happened. He already perjured him self. Do not sure why he is still employed by the City of Tallahassee. I think the biggest thing that these people forget is that they ALL work for us!!
“Just’a good ol’ boys. Never meanin’ no harm. Beats all you never saw. Been in trouble with the law. Since the day they was born.”
Got a tree down on your property? The city can now remove it for you! Just call their new number: 850-ASK-RICK!
Why not ask City of Tallahassee to post the salaries of all City employees? The salaries of State employees is posted for all to see at Florida Has A Right to Know website. That might help with accountability dealing with unfair pay.
Look up a TR story did maybe a year ago about salaries. Steve had many of them listed. You will be more angry.
Hopefully that’s UNPAID leave ! Gillum should be NEXT !
Sorry, it is PAID leave, per the local rag’s version of this story.
So he can sit on his keyster doing nothing and still pull down about a quarter million of our tax dollars.
Why didn’t Ziffer ask Andy to take a leave of absence too?