On January 25, 2019 the Commission on Ethics will consider a settlement entered into by former Tallahassee City Manager Rick Fernandez and the Advocate for the Commission. The settlement relates to a $4,700 discount on the catering price for his daughters wedding reception and the use of FSU sky box tickets for four different home games in 2016.
TR was the first to report on the catering discount and the use of the FSU football tickets.
In the settlement Fernandez acknowledges violations of various ethics statutes. However, Fernandez disputed all probable cause findings which related to accepting or soliciting gifts with the understanding that his official actions or judgment would be influenced.
The settlement recommends a public censure and reprimand and a civil penalty totaling $6,000.
Amid the controversy, Fernandez resigned from his city manager position with the City of Tallahassee on January 3, 2018 and, as part of the separation agreement, received $94,000, or 18 weeks of pay.
If the Commission on Ethics accepts the settlement, a trial by an administrative hearing officer will be avoided and the matter will be closed.
Following an ethics complaint filed by Dr. Erwin Jackson on August 22, 2017, the Commission on Ethics found probable cause related to twenty of the twenty-four allegations in the the ethics complaint involving six sections of the Florida Statutes.
The violations related to a discount on the catering price for his daughter’s wedding reception from the Edison restaurant and the use of FSU football tickets provided by city lobbyists.
The settlement states that Fernandez admitted to the following violations:
- Respondent failed to report as a gift in excess of $100 related to the discount on catering for his daughter’s wedding reception in excess of $100.
- Respondent solicited a gift (football tickets) from a vendor, lobbyist, and/or the partner, firm, employer or principal of a lobbyist of the City of Tallahassee.
- Respondent accepted gifts in excess of $100 vendor, lobbyist, and/or the partner, firm, employer or principal of a lobbyist of the City of Tallahassee. The gifts were FSU football tickets to Charleston Southern, North Carolina, Wake Forest and Boston College games.
Stay tuned more house cleaning to occur! Big take down. Maddox and cohorts small fish in comparison to…
Just heard Preston say the FBI just dropped indictments on Scott and Paige.
Glad to be wrong and taking every bad thing I ever said about The FBI.
Impressive quick resolution by the FL Commission.
Meanwhile our local FBI Usual Suspect indictments were slept on by Jim Comey’s slackers 1 until the midterms were over and likely 2 until the upcoming FL Legeslative session will be over and will likely continue to be slept on until 3 after the second coming of Christ.
Just saying…dont expect too much from Jim Comey’s lackies.
Now re-read his severance packet; Is Fernandez getting paid by the City to attend these hearings, submit testimony, submit to depositions, supply sworn statements, driving time, prep time, debriefing….; etc. Yep! Fernandez made more money on this ‘investigation’ than he lost? And who ‘negotiated’ his severance packet? Any folks that got football tickets, pay raises or promotions? Yep. Will the circle be unbroken?
Throw the book at him…………most likely , we have only seen the tip of the ice burg and will never know the whole story !!!
Thank you Dr. Jackson. Please look into the misdeeds of Rocky Hanna.
I believe Dr. Jackson should be considered for the Time Magazine person of the year award.
Thank you Dr. Jackson!!
Punishment delayed is justice denied. This guy (and many more of our “leaders”) committed these acts years ago, and they were brought to everyone’s attention almost 1 1/2 years ago. And this settlement is nothing. So never mind my initial statement; NO punishment is why ones like him do whatever they want – they know they will get away with it.
If it weren’t for Dr. Jackson we wouldn’t even KNOW about most of this corruption!
I believe the worst violations were the actions of firing rank-and-file employees and then bumping up all his and his cronies salaries.
Secondly, Nancy Miller, Gill Ziffer, and Scott Maddox should be right up there alongside Fernandez for their corruptions, also.
The maximum penalties should apply and would go far to provide a most humbling experience which is so long overdue.
I must use your own words when asking Dr. Jackson to look into the misdeeds of Rocky Hanna. “I believe the worst violations were the actions of firing rank-and-file employees and then bumping up all his and his cronies salaries.”
Rocky has/had a well known “hit list” of staff he non renewed for as part of a political and personal vendetta. He appointed without an interview Kathleen Rodgers, Gillian Gregory Stewart, Alan Cox, and others to Assistant Superintendent positions paying over $100,000 each. Without an interview he promoted Shelly Bell to Lively. Somebody needs to look closely into the vendetta that has ruined the lives of employees in Leon County Schools. Let’s see who Rocky names as Assistant Superintendent for Construction.
Why has the public not demanded that Hanna payback the $600,000 he cost the school system with his FBI investigation? Hanna admitted he collected the misleading information, he admitted that he alone wrote wrote the misleading and factually incorrect summaries of each section in his notebook, then he admitted circulation of the notebook.
Where is the accountability?
What about all the others who got free football tickets to a lobbyist’s skybox? Shouldn’t they be brought up on ethics violations too, and forced to resign?
Will Dr. Jackson have to Goad the ethics commission into it?
BREAKING: Scott, Carter-Smith indicted
Can’t believe Steve got scooped on this; 99 times out of 100 it’s the other way around.
Hope he’s working on a more detailed version right now!
TR has TWO stories on Maddox.