Tallahassee Reports has determined that Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad leaked the city’s report of the football skybox ticket investigation to Tallahassee Democrat publisher, Skip Foster, before the city’s ethics officer was aware that the report was completed.
In addition, Goad chose to provide the report to Foster and no other local media outlets.
The preference shown by Mr. Goad to the Tallahassee Democrat comes on the heels of a TR investigation that revealed Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum met with Foster and successfully convinced the publisher to crop an embarrassing picture in return for an interview.
Julie Meadows-Keefe, the city’s ethics officer, admitted to the Ethics Board at their last meeting, on April 17th, that she learned about the ticket report through a Tallahassee Democrat story.
The Ethics Board had previously referred the ticket issue to Goad for further investigation.
A few days after the Tallahassee Democrat published a story about the report, TR requested emails sent from Reese Goad’s email account on April 16th.
The emails show that around 3 pm on April 16th, Goad notified City Commissioners and the “Executive Team” that report was completed and that no violations had occurred.
At 4:56 pm, Goad sent the report to Meadows-Keefe. The email is shown below.
It appears that Goad did not inform Meadows-Keefe that the report was completed before the email was sent. (As mentioned earlier, Meadows-Keef learned about the report via a Tallahassee Democrat story.)
At 5:09 pm, just 13 minutes later, Goad forwarded the Meadows-Keefe email to Skip Foster, without comment. See red arrow added to email below.
At around 7:15 pm on April 16th, Tallahassee Democrat reporter, Jeff Burlew, published a story about the investigation with a copy of the report.
There was no press release or formal release of the report to other media outlets.
These findings coupled with the Gillum negotiation with Foster raises questions about the relationship between the City of Tallahassee and the Tallahassee Democrat.
What other favors have high level officials done for the Tallahassee Democrat? Have city officials received any favors in return for giving the Tallahassee Democrat preferential treatment?
Is the Tallahassee Democrat “sitting” on other information that may be damaging to city officials?
TR will continue to investigate.
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