The Florida Commission on Ethics voted to accept a settlement in the case against former Tallahassee City Manage Rick Fernandez.
The investigation found that Fernandez accepted Florida State University skybox tickets for football games from local lobbyist and city vendor Adam Corey.
The investigation also found that Fernandez received a $5,000 catering discount at the Edison restaurant for services provided at his daughter’s wedding.
Adam Corey is an investor in the The Edison which has a contract with the City of Tallahassee.
Both issues at the center of the ethics investigation, the acceptance of football tickets and the catering discount was first reported by Tallahassee Reports.
After initial reports, the Tallahassee Democrat recovered a Fernandez text message which verified TR’s reporting on the skybox football tickets.
The settlement includes a $6,000 fine and Fernandez will face a public reprimand.
The ethics complaint was filed by local businessman Erwin Jackson who attended the hearing. Jackson was disappointed that the fine was less the benefit that Fernandez received by breaking the ethics rules.
“I was pleased that the self serving actions of Rick Fernandez were found to be a violation of the ethics rules. I would hope that in the future that the fine for acting gifts will be greater than the benefit enjoyed by the public official,” said Jackson.
Jackson told TR he believed that the fine for accepting gifts should be a multiple of the benefit received.
Right on, Blackhorse
These officials work with impunity. The work they perform, behind the scenes, is similar to the ministers of old royalty. They are well rewarded to discretely perform tasks of the elected officials, but also have an allegiance to a few well connected members of the community. Rules are overlooked, stretched or bent to meet the needs of a few, in conflict with the approved laws statutes, ordinances or any common practice. The new city commission is responsible to ensure that the senior staff perform their duties in a responsible and ethical manner. One of the tools to ensure compliance, is to impose penalties as allowed. The commission can act to rescind the retirement benefits of Mr. Fernandez, and also to make him responsible for all legal fees involved in this episode. Do not neglect to recall, that the current City Manager was the trusted lieutenant of Mr. Fernandez, and was quickly approved to continue the regime.
Perhaps, the city commission can fulfill their responsibilities in ensuring that these appointed public officials meet the requirements of their positions, by imposing penalties. These penalties include forfeiture of retirement benefits, and payment for legal services. These appointed officials work for the citizens of the community. Often, they are perpetrating the desires of the elected officials, behind the scenes, with the understanding that they will be generously rewarded. It is time to reign in the behind the scenes ministers, who continuously operate with impunity.
Perhaps, the city commission can fulfill their responsibilities in ensuring that these appointed public officials meet the requirements of their positions, by imposing penalties. These penalties include forfeiture of retirement benefits, and payment for legal services. These appointed officials work for the citizens of the community. Often, they are perpetrating the desires of the elected officials behind the scenes, with the understanding that they will be generously awarded. It is time to reign in the behind the scenes ministers, who continuously operate with impunity.
Gillum’s teaser is non newsworthy and shows he has nothing better to do so he is sadly attempting to make himself relevant when actually no one cares. The video he is pushing is sad in and of itself …and it is embarrassing.
The video does not display any accomplishments only a sad attempt to promote himself. He lost get over it move on.
I can’t believe the Tallahassee Democrat took the bait.
As for Mr. Fernandez this all could have been avoided had the commissioners engaged in a nationwide search for a City Manager.
Scott Maddox led the charge to put Fernandez in as city manager again showing the one of many bad decisions by Maddox and the previous Commission.
Now Gillum and Daniels are up next to face the consequences of their unethical behavior.
One of Rick’s partners in crime a Mr. Andrew Gillum is putting out an early teaser that Andy is going to make a “Major Announcement” in Miami on March 20th.
Is Soros/Styre gonna try to put Dirty Andy in the White House?
Did anything happen to Adam Corey? Isn’t he just as culpable?
I didn’t think Adam Corey was a public servant. The City’s ethics code wouldn’t apply to him would it?
Am I wrong in thinking Adam Corey was a Lobbyist?
Ethics laws(investigated by the Florida Commission on Ethics) don’t apply to lobbyists.
So what form doe the ‘public reprimand’ take?I suggest he be given 24 hours in the pillory in Kleman Plaza. And Adam Corey serves him meals and beverages from The Edison, to avoid violating the Geneva Convention.
Great job Dr. Jackson! You exposed them and they were snared in their own “self serving actions”!
So when do the next set of indictments go publiic? When does Scott Maddox get his day in court – then time in jail?
A Public Reprimand – just what is that – at this point?