Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board seeking to expand authority

Posted at 4:49 PM, Aug 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-21 14:42:18-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Tallahassee's Independent Ethics Board is continuing to look at ways it can develop its authority.

Some of Tuesday night's discussion touched on a recent case involving former city manager Rick Fernandez. Now, we're learning more about their recommendations.

The board is calling them 'Blue Sky Recommendations' and it has a running list of possible ideas to send to city management for adoption.

The board has spent the past few months coming up with options. Some of them include revising ethics ordinances to apply to all employees.

The chairman of the board told WTXL before the meeting started that its jurisdiction right now only applies to elected or appointed officials.

"All of us trust that people do their jobs, because they're committed to doing their jobs, the way they should be well-compensated, appropriately compensated for the work they do, and they shouldn't need additional compensation," said Richard Herring, the chair of the City of Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board. "If I'm working in your community, I don't go to your house first because you gave me 50 bucks."

Another idea is to recommend a "zero gift" policy that would ban any city employee to accept a gift of any value from a city vendor or an entity trying to do business with the City.

The board briefly referenced the case of Rick Fernandez. The city-backed Edison restaurant gave a discount for his daughter's wedding reception.

The board expects to hash out all of these ideas at a workshop next month.