The Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board selected Keith Powell as the Boards new Ethics Officer at their December 16th meeting held at City Hall. The current Ethics Officer, Julie Meadows-Keefe, is slated to leave the position in February, 2020.
The selection process has been embroiled with controversy related to public criticism of the current ethics officer and a recent lawsuit filed by Meadows-Keefe.
The Board narrowed the list to three candidates at their last meeting. The list included Charles Faircloth, Dwight Floyd, & Keith Powell. All three candidates reside in Tallahassee.
Board member Gwen Graham spoke first and said her top choice was Kieth Powell. Then each Board member voiced their top choice and Powell was the top selection of five of the seven members.
Graham then made a motion to offer the position to Mr. Powell. The vote was unanimous.
The Board will send a offer letter to Mr. Powell with a proposed annual salary of $90,000. The current Ethics Officer makes approximately $100,000.
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Mr. Powell has been employed by the Florida Commission on Ethics since 1986 where is currently a Senior investigator. In his position, he is responsible for training investigators, assigning tasks, reviewing and editing their work product, and supervising their work activities.
In addition, Powell supervised the five investigators who were responsible for conducting advanced level, complex investigations of alleged violations of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees (Chapter 112, Florida Statutes).
Powell stated in his application that he reviewed complaints filed by citizens, conducted sworn interviews, and traveled through out the state to identify, collect, and evaluate evidence.
In this process he interpreted the Code of Ethics, prepared comprehensive written reports, and advised the Office of the Attorney General on the preparation of cases for hearings.
Mr. Powell also listed a background in law enforcement.
My God, isn’t it obvious to everyone that there is something wrong.
Utilities,Parks and Rec,Planning all could be full time jobs. Doesn’t matter how qualified appointee is,if a full time professional is necessary to handle ethics issues than something is wrong.
$90k for a high profile very responsible professional position is not out of line. I mean we have people in parks and rec making that much, and in utilities and planning also. The guy has over 30 years of experience. How come he isn’t being paid as much as the person he is replacing?
90 grand sounds like a lot for a job that doesn’t sound like it could possibly be considered full time. Surely there is some retired judge that would take this gig for far less. It’s your $ tally. Throw it away
Keith Powell good choice and salary is commensurate with his experience and stellar track record.
Most of the judges are good judges but not the retired judge who was incompetent and not doing depositions, but charging for them. This judge should have been disbarred. This was a Leon County defense attorney turned judge. Thousands of cases were probably compromised because of his dishonesty.
If Gwen Graham took the lead in selecting the new leader in this endeavor, then do not expect a lot to improve. The ethics office will be the same-old-same old. Remember she helped Hanna prepare his famous “book” and got her Dad to urge the FBI to investigate the Supt. We know where that went.