Eight months after Tallahassee Reports published a story stating that Tallahassee city employees received free skybox football tickets from City Manager Rick Fernandez, the City of Tallahassee confirmed TR’s reporting.
In August 2017, TR reported:
In addition, city employees were given tickets by Fernandez to attend the games. One employee whose name was verified by sources as a frequent guest in the sky box was Ellen Blair. Ms. Blair is the current Director, Human Resources & Workforce Development at the City of Tallahassee.
After an investigation prompted by an ethics complaint, City Manager Reese Goad reported that Ellen Blair, Human Resources director, and Mike Tadros, general manager of Underground Utilities both received tickets for FSU Old School sky box seats at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Goad determined there was no rule violation because the investigation revealed the tickets were valued at less than $100. This value is inconsistent with previous reports that labeled the tickets worth $400-$500 a piece.
In an email to the city’s Independent Ethics Officer, Goad said, “there was no rule violation by the two employees; however, having fully considered the issue and the importance of this matter I intend to schedule a workshop for the directors and members of the leadership team to improve awareness of these issues.”