Laid off employee files suit against City of Tallahassee

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
February 2, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A former City of Tallahassee employee has filed suit against the city.

Patricia McCray filed the lawsuit in January. She was laid off along with nearly 50 other city employees last summer, after 19 years of working with the city. She worked most recently as the assistant to former City Manager Rick Fernandez.

The law suit accuses Deputy City Manager – who is now the current Interim City Manager-- Reese Goad of wrongdoing during her time as a City of Tallahassee employee.

Reese Goad tells WCTV, "Generally, I worked with Pat for many years and she is very dear to me. And I was disappointed of the law suit. There are elements that are true, but those elements are twisted and a misrepresentation of the facts."

McCray said she was asked to hire one of Goad’s family members along with Fernandez’s daughter, when she was Goad’s administrative supervisor.

The lawsuit also states Goad forced McCray to give a janitor a large pay raise. McCray claimed she later learned that the pay raise was being given because she was acting as a spy for the city.

"I did authorize the raise for that person...because frankly they weren't earning enough," said Goad. But, he said allegations of them being a spy are "flat out false." He also said the hires were allowed because they did not conflict with the city’s nepotism policy, and the individuals did not work directly under a family member.

McCray also alleged Rick Fernandez pressured her into doing “work functions well outside her sphere of responsibility,” and asked her to negotiate down his personal home bill with Comcast. And, that provisions were made to city contracts with vendors that had special relationships to the city management.

The City of Tallahassee cannot comment on the lawsuit, as it is pending litigation.

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