Ethics commission clears Tallahassee City Manager in firefighter complaint
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida’s Commission on Ethics found no probable cause in a complaint filed by a firefighters union against Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad, according to both parties inside the closed-door session.
The commission held a probable cause hearing inside a First District Court of Appeal courtroom Friday morning. The hearing was closed to the public and the press.
Tallahassee Professional Firefighters President Joey Davis filed the complaint with the commission in July 2021, alleging Goad used “bully tactics” to quash a public records request regarding the city’s Fire Services Fee.
Davis said he made the public records request soon after Goad proposed a $1 million cut to the Tallahassee Fire Department budget, citing the pandemic.
Davis alleged Goad called him to a meeting with Fire Chief Jerome Gaines and others, telling him “to stand down.”
According to Goad, the nine-member commission found no probable cause in the case. Goad’s Attorney Ron Meyer said the commission dismissed the case with “no strings attached.”
Goad said he was pleased the commission found no merit in the complaint.
Davis said he was “disappointed” afterward, and said he stands by his allegations and his worry for the public safety of the community.
Davis said the commission’s advocate argued for no probable cause. He said some commissioners suggested pursuing the Sunshine Law issues in Circuit Court, but said he didn’t want to speculate on any potential next steps.
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