Independent Ethics Board
The independent Ethics Board was created in accordance with voters' approval of a City Charter amendment during the November, 2014 general election. Approval of the referendum created a 7-member Board comprised of 5 seats designated for appointment by local entities including the City Commission, Chief Judge of the Second Judicial Circuit, State Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, President of Florida State University, and President of Florida A & M University. The referendum required these initial 5 Board members to select two additional members to bring the Board to a full complement of 7 members.
As specified in the Charter amendment, the Ethics Board has the following duties and responsibilities:
(i) assist the City Commission in the development of the ethics code;
(ii) adopt bylaws and due process procedures for the administration of the Ethics Board;
(iii) manage a citywide ethics hotline for receipt of allegations of local corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, campaign finance and ethics violations;
(iv) manage and coordinate the mandatory training of local officials, officers, employees, and board members in state and local ethics;
(v) have the authority to refer ethics and corruption matters to appropriate enforcement agencies;
(vi) recommend proposed ordinances, resolutions, or charter amendments to the City Commission in all areas of ethics and corruption, including but not limited to: conflicts of interests, financial disclosure, voting conflicts, hotline policies, ethics education, ethics in procurement, campaign ethics and financing, and lobbying; such legislative proposals shall be filed with and considered by the City Commission;
(vii) have the authority to investigate complaints and to levy those civil penalties as may be authorized by the City Commission for violations of the City's ethics code; and
(viii) employ staff serving in the ethics office. A structure shall be established for the Ethics Board that ensures independence and impartiality, and provides for the maximum practicable input from citizens and community organizations. The Ethics Board shall be funded by the City Commission within its discretionary budgetary authority at a level sufficient to discharge the Board's responsibilities.
|Seat / Designation
|1 / City Commission
||Ms. Sunny Phillips
|2 / Chief Judge, 2nd Judicial Circuit
|3 / State Attorney
||Mr. Cecil L. Davis, Jr., Esq.
|4 / President of FSU
||Mr. Richard Herring, Esq.
|5 / President of FAMU
||Mr. Funmi Ojetayo, Esq.
|6 / At-large Seat 1
||Mr. Thomas J. 'Tom' Friedman, Esq.
|7 / At-large Seat 2
||Ms. Renee McNeill
Interested parties may contact the Board via e-mail or phone at 850-891-8036.
The Ethics Office manages a citywide ethics hotline for receipt of allegations of local corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, campaign finance and ethics violations. Contact the Ethics & Fraud Hotline at (850) 891-8813.
To file a written complaint, please download and complete the complaint form (PDF) and mail to: Julie Meadows-Keefe, Ethics Officer, 300 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
To report other issues:
- Discrimination Issues, call Equity and Workforce Development at 891-8290
- Worker's Compensation Fraud Issues, call Risk Management at 891-2117
- Employee Relation Issues, call Human Resources at 891-8331