Tallahassee Reports has learned that Keith Powell has accepted the Ethics Officer position with Tallahassee’s Independent Ethics Board.
The Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board selected Mr. Powell as their first choice for the position at the December 16th meeting held at City Hall. The current Ethics Officer, Julie Meadows-Keefe, is slated to leave the position in February, 2020.
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The selection process was 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.
The Board will meet today at 5:00 pm in City Hall.
Mr. Powell has been employed by the Florida Commission on Ethics since 1986 where is was a Senior investigator. In his position, he was responsible for training investigators, assigning tasks, reviewing and editing their work product, and supervising their work activities.
In addition, Powell supervised 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).
I hope he’s not being shown how things are done by the current Ethics Officer. If he is being shown the ropes by her, I hope he’s too smart to emulate her.
Presumably Mr. Powell knows how to conduct an ethics investigation independent of political interference, for a board that was created by the voters to also be free of political interference.
Presumably the board will provide appropriate oversight of Mr. Powell’s performance, contrary to their past sorry oversight of his predecessor.
Will the city ethics board do its duty and finally carry out its intended function? Will it finally stop getting organized and fiddling, and start identifying, investigating and prosecuting unethical behavior in city government We’ll see.
AGAIN, WHY is Julie Meadows-Keefe allowed to stay to February? Let her go NOW.
She knew how weak and timid the board is and she used it to her advantage.