During the Apr. 7th meeting of the Tallahassee City Commission, elected officials voted to authorize the City to reimburse Commissioner Jack Porter for attorney fees that were used to defend against an anonymous ethics complaint filed on Feb. 10th, 2021. The complaint was subsequently dismissed by the City’s Independent Ethics Board on Mar. 17th, with Porter prevailing on every aspect of the complaint.
Commissioner Porter, who hired attorney Ron Meyer of Meyer, Brooks, Blohm, and Hearn P.A. to represent her, reportedly paid a total of $2,520 in legal fees to address the issue.
The complaint filed alleged that City Commissioner Porter violated the Tallahassee Ethics Code, specifically by misuse of position (see,Ord. Code, Section 2-8) by publicizing local businesses on her City of Tallahassee Facebook page.
The City Commission recently voted to reimburse City Manager Reese Goad’s attorney’s fees related to two ethics complaints in the amount of $3,810. The decision came after the dismissal of both complaints.
In accordance with City Commission policy, the City is expected to reimburse all public officials for legal fees incurred while successfully defending ethics complaints, given the official was acting in their official capacity. As Commissioner Porter prevailed against the complaint, she is entitled to financial reimbursement in accordance with common law in the State of Florida. The City Commission must now vote to authorize Porter’s reimbursement from the Risk Management Claims Fund.