The Fate of Rick Fernandez: Reinstated, Status Quo, or Terminated?

The Fate of Rick Fernandez: Reinstated, Status Quo, or Terminated?

The agenda for the next city commission meeting on December 6th contains Item 11.01 which is  titled “City Manager Administrative Leave.” The agenda item states:

On November 8, the City Commission voted to approve paid administrative leave for the City Manager until such time as the Florida Commission on Ethics resolves the matter of a complaint against the City Manager. When the November 8 motion was made, Commissioner Ziffer noted that bringing the item back on December 6 would allow for consideration of any subsequent action by the Commission on Ethics. At this time, no such action has been taken.

The item refers to the $20,000 per month paid administrative leave approved on November 8th by the city commission for City Manager Rick Fernandez in light of ethical issues. Based on reports, the decision has not been well received by the public.

Fernandez is being investigated by the Florida Commission on Ethics for taking football tickets, valued at approximately $2,000, from city lobbyist Adam Corey.

Originally, Fernandez told the public he did not take any tickets. However, a text message was discovered that indicated he actually solicited the tickets.

The complaint, filed by Dr. Erwin Jackson, also addresses a $5,000 catering discount from the Edison Restaurant, a city vendor, that Fernandez received for his daughter’s wedding reception.

The City Independent Ethics Board recently notified Fernandez and the city commission that the catering discount “has presented an appearance of impropriety to the Board members, and, more importantly to the community…We believe this behavior was inappropriate and should not be modeled by others working for, or representing, the City.”

So, how will the City Commission address the issue?

Commissioner Scott Maddox has publicly stated that Fernandez should be reinstated until he is proven guilty.

Commissioner Gill Ziffer has stated that “the status quo is not acceptable” and Commissioner Nancy Miller believes that “It’s time to settle this one way or the other.”

Commissioner Curtis Richardson has stated that “I want him to get the due process that he’s entitled to. And so that’s why I’m looking forward to the information that we get from our attorney. And then as a commission, we will have to make a decision as to where we go from there.”

Mayor Gillum has not made in any public comments on the issue.

18 Responses to "The Fate of Rick Fernandez: Reinstated, Status Quo, or Terminated?"

  1. None of the commissioners have any credibility, especially Scott Maddox, Nancy Miller, and Gil Ziffer! Ziffer is pandering for political purposes and it is appalling! ZIFFER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING RIC IN THE MANAGER POSITION so as to continue their corruption. They did not do a nationwide search and put Ric in as their pawn so their corruption could continue. Ziffer is as bad as Maddox as Ziffer managed a $100 k payout for a family member through the city attorney. No other citizen would be able to receive that. They all ignored the Consolidated Joint Dispatch problems, promoted themselves via junkets on the taxpayers dime, ignored the high crime rate to where we are worst in the state, and enabled each others corruption.

    When Ric gave himself and cronies a huge raise was the point where the city should have cut ties then.

    When a city manager fails to secure texts and even deletes them with no back up then that should be “with” cause. This is harmful to the integrity of our government and for the commissioners to not terminate immediately is only more evidence that each commissioner should resign themselves or be voted out.

    No further investigation is needed! And as for contracting for a silly investigation…the Tallahassee Democrat already investigated! The TD found the missing texts and exposed the fraud, corruption, and lies!

  2. Simply terminating the corrupt individuals from COT is not enough. Sammantha, I hope you’re right and FBI pressure on Fernandez forces a huge dam break of information and evidence of just what has been happening in COT for over a decade. If people at COT are under “undue stress” from what is transpiring with this FBI investigation, they should have thought about their actions when no one was watching them. Tallahassee has suffered for years, and finally I’m at least hoping the guilty will be brought to hard justice.

    FBI – make an example of Tallahassee that will terrify every city and county official in Florida. If elected officials won’t be honest willingly, at least maybe we can scare them into following the law.

  3. Word is Fernandez may be approached by investigators seeking to flip him. He is hanging out in the wind on this and other as yet undisclosed dirty deals. City employees need to claim whistle blower status and dump the info on him and others. Gillum is losing it and Maddox is terrified.

    1. Good info there Sam and it makes logical sense also when we factor in the fact that our commissioners decided to squeal out their thoughts on Fernandez prior to their meeting on Fernandez. Normal standard procedure is to say that “we will see how the commission decides at our next meeting”.
      Yeah they are all skeerd to death over the prospect of prison. And the unexpected Nancy Miller abdication of her royal throne…yeah throw that in too.

      Might as well get this out their now to help out Mayor Andy’s family – get him lots of white boxer shorts for Christmas – that is all they allow the male prisoners to wear in the big house. None of those colorful bulge enhancing undies a man like Mayor Andy likely loves so much!!!
      Not sure about the ladies but most likely it’s gonna be their Christmas gift of those white really big undies your granny wears – no sexy Victoria’s Secret thongs disappearing in the back crack allowed for the ladies in the big house.
      Hey you all gotta think about this stuff and start making plans.

  4. Fernandez should never have been hired as the City Manager in the first place. All he did was follow in the corrupt ways of Anita Favors. The only difference is Favors never got caught. Fernandez needs to be terminated and a national search go out for a new manager. While on this topic, the city should be searching outside for a new city lawyer. Inbredded employees means same old business.

  5. Rick Fernandez did one thing right as City Manager by firing the former head of Public Works.
    Now we need to clean house and start over with a new City Manager that can get an FBI clearance.

  6. He is not trustworthy, never will be, and will do the same thing again if given the opportunity. It is time to terminate.

  7. I know Scott. Letting a good friend go is tough. But, it’s what leadership is all about…. making the tough decisions. Do the ethical thing. It’s the right thing to do.

  8. I’m a pretty simple guy, this situation has an extremely simple solution. The SAME solution for any employee caught breaking the standards for thier employment. TERMINATION! Like ANY other employee, he can retain counsel and and win back what is “Legally” his. This Commission has NEVER had the best interests of Tallahassee in thier hearts.

  9. It will be interesting to see what the City attorney says. The attorneys for the city, county and school board have to know what is happing behind the scenes. They see the agenda items and hear the discussions among our elected officials. It seems attorneys are silent untill someone is caught.

  10. Gillum did worse. He bought personal property for his on use and not city use with city $$$. Read City Report #0820 and check out the 19 year employee who was forced to resign for doing the same thing.

  11. My angle here on the Fernandez thing is to point out how our elected leaders clearly are showing a total lack of leadership in their statements on the subject.
    And as for our dirty Mayor Andy well there is no statement on the subject whatsoever from that spineless wimp.
    We deserve so much better than that from a city leader and this shows why indecisive Andy should never become a state leader.
    Andy needs someone by his side 24/7 to tell him what to say.
    Say NO to Spineless Indecisive Dirty Wimp Mayor Andy for Governor!!

  12. For starters here is what needs to be done to Fernandez: 1) terminate him; 2) have him pay back his paid vacation and all associates pilfered and ill-gained Funds; 3) loose all his massive retirement benefits; 4) be prosecuted for breach of public trust; 5) be prosecuted for malfeasance. Send a clear message to the tax payer’s.

    Then the next action is to line up all the City folks who joined and supported Fernandez in these well documented issue and do the same to them; didn’t we see the head of personnel’s name involved – Ellen Blair; also Eddie Kring, who was instrumental in these issues?

    Anything less is travesty.

    Maddox has thrown this issue out to reinstate Fernandez to take the heat and headlines off of him.

    So – any guesses how are illustrious Commissioners will be voting on this issue?

  13. Easy decision – Immediate Termination without BENEFITS! Sloppy Tricky Ricky must have DOSSIERS’ on Maddox and the others! Hey Rick, FBI to call on you shortly and you can SING like a CANARY! Due process translates to SEVERANCE package golden parachute negotiations! Unbelievable, taxpayers have to ENDURE rhethorical lip service from officials WE voted into office to serve OUR interest! Only in Tallahassee!

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