Based on concerns related to a social media post, Keith Powell has decided not to move forward as the Ethics Officer.
“I am sorry if my past comments offended members of this community. This was never my intent,” Powell said. “I am a deeply religious man who wears my faith on my sleeve. For better or for worse, that is just who I am.”
A review of social media posts of the recently hired Ethics Officer, Keith Powell, has caused the Chairman of the Ethics Board to request an emergency meeting.
The tweet by Powell at the center of the controversy relates to homosexual kissing.
In a tweet on Thanksgiving Day 2018, Powell wrote, “@Macys the Thanksgiving Day Parade is no place for broadcasting homosexual kisses. Make the parade about families, not agendas.”
The tweet was sent anonymously to officials.The anonymous emails appeared to include two other tweets by Powell that were critical of Democrats.
John Reid, the Ethics Board attorney, wrote “at least one” of the tweets forwarded anonymously “could be interpreted as inappropriate.”
It was reported by the Tallahassee Democrat that Ethics Board Chairman Bryan Smith was “taken aback by Powell’s post about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
“When I first saw it, I just thought this could be problematic,” Smith told the Tallahassee Democrat. “I guess I was thinking if anyone is kissing, how is that not about families and what would be the problem with anyone kissing, irrespective of gender or whatever.”
Powell, who has worked at the Florida Commission on Ethics for 32 years, commented that his personal beliefs do not impact his work as an ethics official.
The time and place of an Ethics Board has not yet been scheduled.