Tallahassee's Independent Ethics Board Schedules Emergency Meeting Over New Hire's Twitter Posts

Jan 28, 2020

Keith Powell is scheduled to begin his role at Tallahassee's Independent Ethics Officer on February 3rd. Powell investigated the ethics case against former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum for the Florida Commission on Ethics.
Credit LinkedIn

Update: 

In a statement issued Wednesday night, Keith Powell withdrew from the position of Independent Ethics Officer. 

“I am sorry if my past comments offended members of this community. This was never my intent,” he said. “For 32 years, I have had the honor to serve as an investigator with the Florida Commission on Ethics, and I have always done so with impartiality and professionalism. In this role, I have never been concerned with issues related to right versus left, but merely those involving right versus wrong.”

The Independent Ethics Board will meet as planned on Thursday.

Original story:

Tallahassee’s incoming Independent Ethics Officer may be out of a job before he even starts.

The city’s Independent Ethics Board has scheduled an emergency meeting this Thursday. The only agenda item is the recent appointment of Keith Powell – and questionable social media posts that have come to light.

“I will be attending this meeting in my capacity as the current ethics officer,” outgoing officer Julie Meadows-Keefe told WFSU. She is supposed to start the transition of power next week. “He’s scheduled to start February 3rd. I actually am not leaving until the 18th.”

In Twitter posts shared by the Tallahassee Democrat, Powell is critical of Democrats and LGBTQ people.

The Independent Ethics Board will meet to discuss the Powell’s status Thursday at 4:30 in the Florida Room at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Powell is about to leave his job as a senior investigator with the Florida Commission on Ethics, where he’s worked for more than three decades.