John Reid selected as Counsel to Tallahassee Ethics Board

"Tallahassee ethics board chooses new attorney, delays decision on new board member"

by Jeffrey Schweers| Tallahassee Democrat

As published by Tallahassee Democrat(02/11/2019)

The Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board has hired John Reid as board counsel, with former Circuit Judge Josefina Tamayo as backup.

"We have successfully developed a legal niche in areas of governmental and ethics law and will serve as great assets to the City of Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board," Reid said in his application cover letter to the board.

 

Both are counsel for the town of Greenville. Tamayo recently conducted ethics training for the City Commission and its staff and has provided ethics training to other governments.

"I also had the privilege to work with the Tallahassee Independent Ethics Board as an Advocate last fall in the complaints filed against then Mayor Andrew Gillum and City Manager Reese Goad," Reid said in his letter. In that matter, the ethics board ruled a tweet sent by city congratulating Gillum for his primary victory did not violate the city's ethics code.

Reid and Tamayo have 45 years of legal experience between them. Reid is a sole practitioner, and Tamayo is of counsel to his firm. They were chosen out of a pool of 10 candidates including C.B. Upton, who was Erwin Jackson's attorney on several complaints against both Gillum and former City Commissioner Scott Maddox, Phil Claypool, the former executive director of the Florida Commission on Ethics, and Jeff Kottkamp, a former lieutenant governor and state representative.

Reid replaces Simone Marsteller, who resigned in January after Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed her as Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Justice. Marsteller was the board's counsel since September, when she was tapped to replace Gerald Curington of Ausley McMullen. Curington also applied for the vacancy.

The Ethics Board also has whittled the candidates down from 18 to four to fill a recent board vacancy. Attorney Mary Linville Atkins, retired financial advisor John Clark, attorney Shehnoor Grewal and Pat Kelly, a former police chief and health care manager are vying to fill the vacant seat held by Bruce Grant, who resigned to apply for the commission seat left open by Maddox's suspension after his federal indictment. Grant reapplied for his old position, along with former City Commissioner John Paul Bailey and City Commission candidate Bill Schack.

Each of the four finalists will get a chance to make a presentation and answer questions at the next board meeting. A vote was put off at the last meeting because two members were absent.

The Ethics Board was created after more than two-thirds of the city’s voters approved its creation in 2014. The board has the power to investigate complaints against city officials.

Read the original HERE.

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