Recently filed city commission candidate Lisa Brown, who is the CEO and a board member at Tallahassee-Leon Federal Credit Union (TLFCU), appears to be relatively unknown in local political terms.
However, the web of local government connections that exist between members of the Board of Directors at TLFCU and local government vendor Vancore Jones, raises several questions about possible conflicts if she is elected.
A review of the Board of TLFCU reveals that Dustin Daniels and Ben Pingree, the Director of Tallahassee/Leon PLACE which oversees Blueprint activities, serve on the Board.
Dustin Daniels, the former chief of staff for Mayor Andrew Gillum as of March 21, 2018, is considering a run for local office himself.
But beyond his political aspirations, Daniels has courted controversy through his actions relating to Mayor Andrew Gillum’s email flap and the ticket scandal that forced City Manager Rick Fernandez to resign.
Pingree, in his role as a local government official, reports to the Intergovernmental Agency (IA) where city and county elected officials sit jointly.
Pingree is responsible for the management and oversight of Planning, Land Management, and Community Enhancement departments, including the nearly $1 billion “Blueprint 2020” program.
Pingree has served on the TLFCU board since 2006. This means that Mr. Pingree more than likely had a role in hiring Ms. Brown as CEO.
If elected, Ms. Brown would be voting on Blueprint proposals generated by Mr.Pingree’s office as a member of the IA.
Over the next four years the IA will be voting on how to spend millions of dollars in Blueprint economic development money.
And finally, Vancore Jones, who reportedly courted Ms. Brown in the time before she announced her candidacy, is a vendor for Blueprint – the office overseen by Mr. Pingree.
TR has reached out to Ms. Brown to inquire about her view on the potential conflicts.