By: Mariel Carbone
December 5, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV)—A city commissioner is calling for City Manager Rick Fernandez to retake his seat at the table.
Fernandez has been on paid administrative leave since last month. He took the leave following accusations that he accepted a $5,000 catering discount from the city-backed restaurant The Edison and amid an ethics investigation by the Florida Commission on Ethics.
At the time, Fernandez said, “To avoid this matter becoming a distraction for our City employees and the entire organization, I have decided to voluntarily accept commissioner Ziffer's request (See Attached) and take administrative leave effective immediately until the matter before the Ethics Commission is resolved.
Now, Scott Maddox is asking that he return from leave.
In a statement, Maddox said, “Tallahassee is a community that values basic American rights, including the right be considered innocent until proven guilty and to have an opportunity for due process. All I know regarding the City Manager’s case is what has been tried in the court of public opinion. It would be a grave disservice to him and any City of Tallahassee employee to make presumptions and life changing decisions without all the facts. Until there is formal due process, the City Manager should be brought back to continue his work leading our 2800 employees and serving our residents.”
The commission is set to address Fernandez’s paid leave at tomorrow’s meeting.