Tallahassee Mayor John Marks has been cleared of all charges that he violated state ethics law. The Florida Commission on Ethics voted 6-to-1 to dismiss his case.
The charges against Marks involved votes he took on city contracts involving companies that had retained him as an attorney. Tallahassee businessman Erwin Jackson filed the charges in 2011.
But the mayor’s attorney, Barry Richard, said, after hearing evidence, including the testimony of city commissioners, an administrative judge recommended the commission drop the complaint against Marks.
“They were bound by his factual findings. As the advocate told them, there was substantial competent evidence to support those findings, and actually the commission had no choice in this instance," Richard said.
The ethics commission’s prosecutor had originally pushed for Marks to pay a $30,000 fine. But Richard said, further testimony from people close to the mayor exonerated him.