City Staff Recommends Contractor with Family Ties to Commissioner Nancy Miller for $1.1 Million Project

City Staff Recommends Contractor with Family Ties to Commissioner Nancy Miller for $1.1 Million Project

On February 28, 2018 city staff was directed by city commissioners to reconsider a $1.1 million project award due to a protest by DPB & Associates – a contractor with family ties to City Commissioner Nancy Miller and with city management staff.

Now, four months later, city staff is recommending that the city commission award the $1.1 million contract to DPB & Associates

The project was originally advertised and the bid process determined that Genesis, a local consulting firm, was deemed the top ranked firm.

After the bid ranking, a protest was submitted by DPB & Associates and the protest was reviewed and denied by the City Attorney.

At that point, city staff asked the city commission to approve the award to Genesis.

At the meeting to approve the Genesis award, City Commissioner Nancy Miller announced she would recuse herself based on the fact that “the appearance of a conflict is there because I have a relative that is affected….”

However, despite pleas from Mayor Gillum not to make any comments about the issue after announcing her recusal, Miller made a parting comment. Referring to a city staffer, Miller told City Commissioners, “He needs to tell you who he works for because the criteria did not work.”

After Miller left the meeting, a brief discussion ensued and City Commissioner Curtis Richardson, citing concerns about the bid process, made a motion to re-bid the contract. The motion passed 4-0.

And now the new bid process has resulted in a new top ranked firm – DPB & Associates

This new recommendation comes after the a November, 2017 City of Tallahassee Auditor’s investigation into contracts awarded to family members of City Commissioner Nancy Miller found the approval of those awards to DPB &Associates represented the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In addition, the audit found one of the 12 employees interviewed indicated the relationship between Buss and DPB & Associates did impact his thoughts when evaluating proposals from DPB & Associates. The audit stated that this finding “is demonstrative that the relationship can result in an unintentional bias in the selection process.”

The audit stated that “when these matters were brought to their attention, City management responded by immediately revising the City’s Purchasing Procedures to preclude any City employee from developing, recommending, or approving a procurement requisition, contract, purchase order, or pay request for any good or service from a business entity for which the employee may have a conflict of interest.”

Tallahassee Reports first broke the story about the contracts and possible conflicts in July, 2017.

This project includes improvements associated with both the Market Square Pond Improvements project and the Maclay Commerce Dr./Maclay Blvd. roadway enhancements project.

11 Responses to "City Staff Recommends Contractor with Family Ties to Commissioner Nancy Miller for $1.1 Million Project"

  1. Wow…time to reelect new commissioners…especially ones to replace the ones who voted for this “still a conflict of interest”! Look for more trees and more concrete and more mortgage and insurance taxes in your new future as Tallahassee continues to lose its Oak Canopies and its “farmers markets” and its “community centered” facilities to the commission with no ethical concerns when it comes to the “people’s money and taxes” and continues “the good ole boy and girl network” of awarding its own. Just look at the Bannerman Crossing fiasco without any concern for Climate Change, Water or Hurricane effects…just money, concrete and taxes.

  2. What surprises me (I guess it shouldn’t) is that the COT Cabal is STILL carrying on with it’s trademark blatant nepotism (or blatant appearance of same), more CRA votes for dubious projects, and basically self-rewarding business as usual. You would think that with the FBI poking around, the Cabal would at least lay low for awhile – but they seem to have little if any deep concern. Perhaps they really feel they can’t be legally touched. More hopefully someone in the Cabal, a longtime crony, or an insider staffer has been flipped by the FBI and is keeping the “usual business” going in order to gather evidence. Maybe that’s a futile hope, but I’ll hang onto it as long as possible.

  3. Damn, can’t they give us a courtesy flush every once in a while instead of just piling it on. That’s how you get a Gilliam.

  4. Tallahassee Mafia strikes again! Just imagine the $$$ worth of business “the family” can get when Mama Miller is out of office and the current conflict of interest technically no longer exists. #TallyCosaNostra

  5. Goodness gracious “Mark” are you the same woman who used to post in every article, from food banks to road closures, about the evils of Rocky Hannah?
    Please stop behaving like a thread hijacking troll and write your own article or keep comments relative to the content at hand. I submit that you are not making a case in as much are you are simply annoying readers.

  6. Look into the recent contract Rocky Hanna awarded his campaign contributor. Look at the promotion of 6 Assistant Superintendents without interviews and the ethics violates by Rocky Hanna that the school board refuses to act on.

    1. And just take a moment to observe the face of Good ‘Ole Curtis there. I’ll lay out the same odds that we all know exactly what he’s thinking at that moment.
      Wait for it.
      Wait for it.
      “Cloud? Cloud? I don’t see any cloud!!!”

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