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Independent Ethics Board to revisit Fernandez case after state hearing

Independent Ethics Board
Independent Ethics Board
Posted at 5:15 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 19:21:26-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Tallahassee's Independent Ethics Board briefly discussed a complaint about city employees receiving gifts from lobbyist Adam Corey at a meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Former city manager Rick Fernandez accepted the FSU football tickets from Corey and gave three of them to coworkers at City Hall.

Erwin Jackson, the man who filed the complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics and the Independent Ethics Board, says a report from city staff about the tickets was "dishonest" and "misleading."

In that report, the city claims accepting those tickets didn't violate Florida statute.

The city calculated the value of each ticket was $100. If it had cost a penny more, then the gift would need to be reported.

Jackson claimed city staff purposely skewed the numbers to make sure no one violated anything.

He asked the ethics board to dig deeper and hold them accountable -- calling for them to hire an investigator with a background in law enforcement to go over his complaint.

"I don't like city politicians or county politicians stealing from me," said Jackson, who is the founder of a student housing company called Jackson Properties. "I pay a lot of taxes. My tenants pay the taxes. I pass it here to the city under the assumption that they're going to do good things with that tax money -- not put it in their pocket. And when they do, then I'm going to speak out against it."

The ethics board said it will wait on what the Florida Commission on Ethics decides in this case.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for June 8 to determine whether to file charges.

The Independent Ethics Board will revisit the issue at its next meeting on June 19.