Today a federal grand jury returned a nine-count superseding indictment against John Thomas Burnette, 42, of Tallahassee, Florida. Burnette was originally indicted in May, 2019.
The superseding indictment relates to a controversial vote by the Tallahassee City Commission on a potential hotel development in 2014 involving the Mckibbon Hotel Group.
Several facts laid out in the federal indictment were first reported by Tallahassee Reports in two articles published in 2013 and 2014.
TR first reported about the relationship between Gary Yordon, a Scott Maddox business associate at the time, and the Mckibbon Hotel Group. The article focused on Yordon’s failure to register as a lobbyist.
The second articled focused on City Commissioner Scott Maddox’s conflict of interest.
After the articles were published, Dr. Erwin Jackson filed an ethics complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics. The complaint was dismissed.
The superseding indictment alleges that, in early 2014, Burnette caused a company to pay $110,000 in exchange for Maddox declaring a conflict and not voting at a Tallahassee City Commission meeting.
At that meeting, the Commission was slated to vote on an extension sought by a hotel development group to allow more time to meet certain City requirements to build a hotel close to a downtown hotel owned by Burnette. Maddox’s failure to participate resulted in a 2-2 tie vote by the Commission that denied the hotel development group the extension it sought and ended its project.
Read the US Attorney release here.
Burnette’s trial is scheduled for November 4th, 2019.