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.
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.