Tallahassee’s Independent Ethics Board has drafted a notice warning against gift-giving between City employees and those who do business with the City. The board says what departments choose to do with the memorandum is up to them.
Chair Richard Herring uses the example of ousted City Manager Rick Fernandez in explaining why the memo was written:
"Football tickets that were re-gifted by the City Manager and people who felt – since he was their boss – felt compelled to have to take them," Herring said at the board's most recent meeting. "We just want to go on record as saying very clearly that if you’re uncomfortable, you should be able to say no."
Florida’s Ethics Commission ruled in June that Fernandez misused his position to obtain football tickets from a lobbyist.
The Board’s notice also gives guidelines on gift-giving between employees and their superiors, but isn’t enforceable.