Leon County Commission Chair Akin Akinyemi and Mary Ann Lindley, candidate for an at-large Leon County Commission seat, sparred on a number of issues during a joint appearance on WFSU's Perspectives Program.
Not least was an ethics complaint filed Monday by Lindley against Akinyemi. The complaint says Akinyemi failed to disclose a $42,834 loan from Capital City Bank which he's defaulted on. Lindley also brought up a lawsuit filed against Akinyemi this year from an engineering firm, and a lien against him for unpaid income taxes.
"The bigger issue is that a person doesn't irresponsibly handle money in their private life and then suddenly be a very responsible public official handling some $200 million of public money," Lindley said.
But Akinyemi says the loan is a business debt which did not have to be disclosed and he took issue with Lindley charges about his personal finances.
"But I bounced back. I pay my bill every time, and I'm convinced I'm going to do the same again this time," he said,
Lindley also raised issue with a vote about a parking lot adjacent to the Riley House Museum which she called a proposal, to give away public land, a million-dollar parking lot downtown used by county employees and others, to a non-profit because it wanted it."
And she also attacked Akinyemi on another proposal involving a sustainable energy company that was looking to the city's landfill as a potential source of energy.
"Due diligence showed this was not a business...there was no proof it had enough going for it to be sustained, let alone give it public land," she said.
But Akinyemi took issue with Lindley's attacks.
"Mary Ann, you are a big fat liar...I've and lost every bit of respect for you," he said and he went on to defend his voting record and proposals.
"The solar wind facility was approved unanimously, we're not giving anything away. The idea is to look for a company that can come to convert our waste to energy," he said.
"And the issue with Riley house wanting...yes, they did make that request...no one approved that, not even me...what I proposed to do instead is do a study for a potential development of that property which may include Riley house," he said.
The dust up is the latest in the Leon County Commission At-Large Seat One race. Akinyemi has been endorsed by 10 local professional associations and advocacy groups, including the state political action committee of the National Organization for Women, FL NOW. Lindley has not received any endorsements, and called those that are backing Akinyemi, quote, “special interest groups.” But the former president of the local chapter of the National Organization for Women says Lindley did not accept their invitation to take a survey.
*Clarification: The original story said that the local chapter of the National Organization for Women endorsed Akin Akinyemi, however the endorsement came through the state chapter's Political Action Committee.
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