Ethics Watchdog Calls for Investigation into City of Tallahassee
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
FACT Says Official Government Twitter Account Improperly Used to Promote Mayor Andrew Gillum’s Candidacy for Governor
(Washington, D.C.) – August 31, 2018 –The non-partisan ethics watchdog group, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint today with the City of Tallahassee Ethics Board against the City of Tallahassee and Mayor Gillum for the apparent abuse of official authority and misuse of city property for political purposes.
According to the complaint,on August 28, 2018 the City of Tallahassee’s official Twitter account posted an announcement congratulating Mayor Andrew Gillum for becoming the Democratic nominee for Governor, along with his photo captioned “Andrew Gillum and Office of the Mayor.” Not only is this a misuse of taxpayer funded resources, but it is a direct violation of Florida Statutes section 104.31, which prohibits City employees from using their official position for political purposes.
“While this ethics violation may appear like a simple tweet—it is not. The use of an official City communication to support a political candidate is an abuse of power and appears to be an endorsement by the City, which the Ethics Board must remedy.” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). “This is an abuse of taxpayer-funded resources. Unfortunately, the violation is not surprising given Mayor Gillum has a history of using taxpayer funded resources for his personal political career. The fact that Mayor Gillum has apologized before for related transgressions but continues to flaunt the rules makes this violation even more egregious.”
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/.