In Her Own Words: Ethics Officer Responds to Critics, “White Males”

In Her Own Words: Ethics Officer Responds to Critics, “White Males”

The City of Tallahassee’s Independent Ethics Officer, Julie Meadows-Keefe, has been embroiled in controversy since taking the position years ago. More recently, calls for her to be replaced and a lawsuit filed by Meadows-Keefe against the City of Tallahassee, has raised the profile of the controversy.

At a recent Board meeting, Tallahassee businessman Barney Bishop spoke about the need for a new ethics officer and sharply criticized Meadows-Keefe for ethical lapses and conflicts of interest.

Listed below are excerpts from her response to Bishop’s comments.


I appreciate a chance to respond to Mr. Bishop’s very well thought out comments.

It has been very challenging for practically the entire time I’ve had this job to endure repeated public attacks. Before there were any allegations such as those mentioned by Mr. Bishop, from the day I entered City Hall I was subjected and had to endure attacks from individuals here in this room and elsewhere.

I was hopeful that through my service here on this board, which has been reflected in excellent performance evaluations during my entire tenure, that this would perhaps serve to quell these persistent voices.

So like so many that I’ve heard talk, their personal opinions shift their ethics in how they address a woman- an individual – a professional with a professional reputation. To have that sullied repeatedly and to have to sit silently for years and have other people write my narrative for me.

When Mr. Bishop and a Lt. Governor of this state, Dr. Jackson and others formed a coalition- all white males- to call for my termination I decided I was no longer going to let those individuals…and let the record reflect Mr. Bishop is laughing. You sir are a reprehensible human being.

In summation I decided that I was no longer going to allow other people to define my narrative. Through counsel, I determined that it was appropriate to resign in February, which I did. I was hopeful that I’d continue to do my job until then. Unfortunately for some, that was not good enough and they wanted to go to war over 2 months – 2 months – so I decided I wanted to rewrite my narrative. I was no longer going to allow individuals such as Mr. Bishop and Dr. Jackson to define my narrative and that I was going to use a voice and speak out.

I dealt with a traumatic experience. It’s no one’s business. I’ve communicated as appropriate with my bosses around this table. And to the extent they wanted – had very uncomfortable conversations with some of you.

And as to Mr. Reid, I did disclose to the chair my previous professional engagements with him (Mr. Reid). I feel sometimes the fact that I’ve spoken with him (Mr. Herring) I’ve used as a substitute perhaps for informing the whole board. But at no time have I ever hidden anything from this board chair. I speak to him several times a week.

So in conclusion, I am letting everyone know I’ve been here every day. I continue to proceed to do this job every day. I’m proud of this job. I’m also proud of what’s getting ready to happen Wednesday and the fact that I’ve worked so hard in this job in light of all of these people consistently criticizing me. Yet we’re achieving this result.

What makes me sad is how much further we could have gone if I could have gotten support from the community, but it was more important to some members of the community to continue to attack me. So, I will no longer continue to be attacked. I’ve found a voice, yet I will be professional.

I think you can ask anyone around here that I’m doing my job professionally and all the applicants for my job have been impressed with the conversations I’ve had. I have nothing but positive things to say about this role, the need for it, and my desire for the work to continue.. as it has even better – with an enhanced ethics code and Mr. Chair I yield back and I appreciate the chance to respond to these comments.

30 Responses to "In Her Own Words: Ethics Officer Responds to Critics, “White Males”"

  1. Mr. Fletcher was Appointed Officiall. He’s divorced. He retired early with City pension. Also state pension. Now back to work at Auditor Generals. Office. Hes violent and unstable. Where is the outrage there. Yall are twisted

  2. So she bangs an employee in a job she should never have had in the 1st place, but it’s white males that are the problem. Why didn’t she seize the narrative from her position in the beginning? Go try and use your law degree at some honest work. Get off the government nipple and stop blaming others, look in the mirror. YOU screwed up.

  3. An auditor?
    Kind of low on the totem pole.
    So are we to assume Fletcher was the only mid level bureaucrat our hottie is still banging at the City? And if so why would we make that assumption?
    That’s a lot of assumption there.
    And what about the long suffering second class Mrs. Fletcher? Lets all join with Mrs. Fletcher’s hopes and prayers that these freaks of fornication used condoms.
    Dang our COT is most likely a den of squirming STDs.
    Typical for leftists though.
    CONDOMS just put ’em on COT hotties!!!

    1. Snidely, maybe now they’ll avail themselves of the new Hustler Hollywood. But make no mistake, she ain’t the only one, it goes all the way up with the Usual Suspects and then some. What happens in Tallahassee stays in Tallahassee, what happens at Amelia Island never happened, amirite?

  4. Why does she still have a job? If my boss said I did a lousy job and needed to go, I’d be gone! I wouldn’t be on the payroll for months for no reason.

  5. Is she talking about the Democratic primaries? They’re all white.

    Oops, but not all males. But maybe I’m assuming gender?

    Let her speak her mind. I mean him…. uh, xer? they? xey? Is she ciswhite, too?

    My sincere apologies to any offended by my lack of enlightenment, but as a person of color, I’m afraid to say it wrong. Yes, Im light brown. Very light brown, not green. Or blue. Or black. Or red. But I am a person. With color.

    Please, I cant be held responsible for my ignorance. Im sorry, guys. I mean people, er, folks. Sorry folks Im a little slow, um… handicapable. Yes I apologize to xem. Them?

  6. I like how the ethics officer called out her accusers for their race and their gender, and then called them “reprehensible”. Maybe she didn’t know their sexuality for sure and that’s why she didn’t go for the trifecta.

  7. Where was Mr Bishop when Scott Maddox was publicly humiliating and berating a citizen and Veteran Harry Brown?

    I’ll tell you where Mr Bishop was he was either over at Clydes & Costello’s falling off a stool or ignoring the public humiliation of a veteran and hero and telling the public that Scott Maddox was the best person to be voted in as a City Commissioner.

    Before that Barney Bishop was humiliating another hard-working intelligent citizen, Bill Schack.

    Before that wasn’t Barney Bishop was running cocktail parties over on Adams Street and how many officials got DUIs out of that one?

    These white men sit there and do nothing when Sheriff Campbell misuses his position to the extent of monsterism and Scott Maddox ditto.

    These white men sat there and let Harry Brown suffer for years shame on them. They let Sheriff Campbell abuse his position and hurt citizens and destroy the integrity of the system shame on them.

    They pick on Debbie Lightsey and this ethics officer and act like Mean Girls in junior high and when their mail cohorts are committing humanitarian crimes they do nothing( with the exception of Erwin Jackson).

    I’ve lived a privileged life and seen many examples of humanitarianism even related to one such human being.

    Barney Bishop needs to quit being a mean girl and sit down and be quiet and go away for the good of the public Humanity.

  8. Hmmmm…..wasn’t she basically given that Job by and for Scott, Gil, Nancy and a couple others so they could continue with their Unethical Ways?

  9. “All white males”…hmmm…that’s the same as saying “all black males, all black females, all Muslims…ect…ect…ect.”

    So are we going to allow the racist sexist Ms. Meadows-Keefe to lurk on until February 2020 in order to get full taxpayer paid retirement benefits?
    Or are we going to do the right thing and throw her out now?

  10. The personal attacks on Julie Meadows-Keefe are unbelievable! Wake up Tallahassee! Men don’t get away with that anymore. A coalition formed to attack her? Mr. Bishop, what kind of professional behavior is laughing at this woman while she is speaking? To this all male inappropriately behaved board, it is unacceptable and damaging to bully and slander a woman even in the south!
    Speak up Julie!

    1. Her ‘racial’/ ‘sexism’ charges are weak. If any one doesn’t like the job she does, they can indeed, criticize her. Did the criticizers make any reference to her ‘femaleness’? Probably not but somehow, it gets brought into the mix… for no reason. If someone is going to be ‘in charge’ they need to be prepared to take heat. Sounds like she can’t and reverts to tired defense responses.

    1. So who’s the city administrator she’s been diddlin’?
      THAT, and that alone, if true, should be grounds for immediate termination.
      I don’t know of any public company that would allow that. And when you look at the job (ethics) it makes it even more flagrant.

      1. I wholeheartedly agree with you you are 100% correct.

        If they are going to hold her accountable they should hold themselves accountable and their cohorts.

        They ignore the same thing for themselves and their cohorts.

        They let Scott Maddox get away with doing the same thing where he took it even further he caused innocent minorities to lose their jobs to cover up his indiscretions.

        Barney Bishop sat there and did nothing looked the other way as did Bob Gabordi and fellow commissioners.

        To make it even worse they included staff and law enforcement in attacking those whistleblowers where it caused innocent staff to have to go along with their corruption and misuse their positions also.

        I could name many other examples. I don’t like the double standard and I don’t like the hypocrisy.

        Barney Bishop has no credibility if he can’t hold Scott Maddox accountable and puts him on a pedestal and promotes him in spite of everything he did and then attacks other officials. But, you are again, 100% correct.

      2. “Chubsie” Daily, the Commission, and all the corrupt administration at the City would really appreciate it if everyone forgets all about the accidental leaked information that their schmethics officer is having “scrumpy” time with a high level City administrator.
        We could have fun guessing who she is not having “scrumpy” time with though!
        OK I’ll start:
        Well I think she’s not having “scrumpy” time with City Manager Mr. Goad. As he looks a little frail, too slender, and a little too effeminate of a man for a big boned gal like our schmethics officer.

      3. “Everybody is out of step but me.”
        Playing the sexism card, “Everybody is picking on me because I’m a woman.”
        Just bluffing until she’s vested in the city retirement plan. That way we can continue to pay her a city pension for the rest of her life for doing a sorry job.

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