City commission appoints new acting city manager

reese goad
reese goad
Posted at 5:26 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-13 07:41:17-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The Tallahassee City commission is deciding how to move forward after city manager Rick Fernandez took a leave of absence in light of a complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

The city manager voluntarily stepped down, but Wednesday night, the commission officially approved his paid administrative leave for now and an interim city manager has been chosen while he’s away.

This, of course, is in light of two issues involving Rick Fernandez. The first, about accepting a discount from The Edison Restaurant for his daughter’s wedding reception. The second, about accepting football tickets from a lobbyist.

The Florida Commission on Ethics says it can’t confirm or deny whether it’s investigating Fernandez but Mayor Gillum and city commissioners have supported the city manager’s decision to step down until the matter is resolved.

“We are a nation of laws. I believe very strongly in due process, and he is due that," said Curtis Richardson, a Tallahassee city commissioner. "Until that process plays itself out and we have a fair and objective evaluation of what actually happened, I think him taking the paid administrative leave at this time was the appropriate course of action.”

The city commission named Reese Goad as acting city manager. He’s been the deputy city manager since January 2016. There has been no indication of how long the ethics investigation will last. With this in mind, the commission will revisit the issue of paid leave at its next meeting in December.