Tallahassee residents call for Ethics Officer's resignation at meeting

Published: Oct. 15, 2019 at 7:25 PM EDT
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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News

October 15, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- After weeks of being in the spotlight, the embattled Independent Ethics Board and Ethics Officer, Julie Meadows-Keefe, heard citizen complaints at Tuesday's meeting.

Previously, the Citizens for Responsible Spending group called for the Ethics Officer to be suspended.

Meadows-Keefe hired John Reid as her personal lawyer before he was chosen as counsel for the Ethics Board, selected over other candidates. CRS is also calling for Reid's resignation.

Dr. Erwin Jackson also called for Meadows-Keefe's resignation at Tuesday night's meeting.

"She needs to be removed, she should have been removed two or three months ago," said Dr. Jackson. "Why haven't we just had a vote of no confidence, and just moved on?"

Dr. Jackson argued that Meadows-Keefe should not be involved in the training of the new ethics officer.

Catherine Baer, a member of Citizens for Ethics Reform, also called for Meadows-Keefe's resignation, saying the Ethics Board has not taken action.

She called for either a public hearing on the charges, or Meadows-Keefe's firing.

"They are the ones who have to impose these standards on people under their jurisdiction, if they can't hold their ethics officer to this standard, what makes you think they can hold anyone else to it?" said Baer.

Others took issue with Meadows-Keefe's yearly membership subscription fees to Capital Tiger Bay.

After temporarily transferring the chair position to another member,Richard Herring made a motion for a change in the bylaws that any traveling or membership expenses have to be approved by the Board.

He made a second motion requesting the Ethics Officer repay the fees for her subscription to Capital Tiger Bay.

Meadows-Keefe had no comment on the calls for her resignation.