City of Tallahassee Ethics Board holds its first meeting

The Tallahassee Ethics Board held it’s first meeting Feb. 10 to select its two final members.

In early December last year, the City of Tallahassee published a notice on its website announcing that it was accepting applications from residents interested in becoming members of its Ethics Board.

The role of the Ethics Board is to develop an ethics code, manage the City’s ethics and fraud hotline and be responsible for training all employees and officials in accordance to state and local ethics requirements.

The Ethics Board will also propose ordinances and charter amendments to the City Commission, investigate ethics complaints and employ an Ethics Officer.

Heather Teter, the public information specialist for the City of Tallahassee, said The Ethics Board is important to the city.

“At the City of Tallahassee we value transparency and its an high priority with us. This is one of the main reasons we form this board,” Teter said.

Mayor Andrew Gillum appointed Lila Jaber to the city's newly created ethics board. Jaber leads the government affairs division for the Gunster, Yoakley & Stewart law firm. She was one of 11 to apply for the position.

State Attorney Willie Meggs appointed Attorney-at-Law Cecil Davis Jr.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the other members to do some good for this city,” Davis Jr. said. “I’m ready to carry out what the referendum requires us to do.”

Both the Chief Judge and the State Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit were also allotted slots to select members. Chief Judge Charles A. Francis declined to appoint a member.

Citizen membership on the Ethics Board was open to one individual who had to apply by the end of 2014.

The president of both state universities appointed one member to the board.  FAMU President Elmira Mangum selected her Special Assistant Funmi Ojetayo, who has a legal background.

FSU President John Thrasher appointed attorney at law Richard Herring.

“I’m honored President Thrasher thought I was a worthy candidate,” Herring said. “I know this board has a lot of work ahead of it but we can make a good and positive difference.”

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