Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

FBI Raids and Investigations = “A really, really good year”

The Board of the Jacksonville Port Authority appears to have a rather interesting definition of a “really, really good year.” While the announcement of new shipping lines and pending jobs is certainly outstanding news, the Board decided to completely ignore the ongoing FBI investigation of the (now former) JPA Board Chairman and JPA staff in unanimously—without any discussion—declaring it a “really, really good year.”

The Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Port Authority wrapped up 2008 Wednesday by approving several contracts, signing a 30-year lease with Korean shipper Hanjin and unanimously approving — with no discussion — a $28,000 raise and $22,500 bonus for the Port Authority’s Executive Director Rick Ferrin.

Board Chair Dr. William Mason said he met with the Board’s Compensation Committee to conduct Ferrin’s annual evaluation. He said the committee agreed Ferrin’s performance warranted a raise from $225,000 annually to $253,000 for 2009. The committee also approved a bonus the equivalent of 10 percent of Ferrin’s 2008 salary.

“This will bring Mr. Ferrin in line with comparable-sized ports in this region of the United States,” said Mason. “We had the option of a performance bonus. We studied the pros and cons and concluded that this was a really, really good year.”

No mention was made of the FBI raid earlier this year on the offices of Tony Nelson, who at the time served as the Vice Chairman of the Board. The Board also turned a blind eye to the ongoing investigation by the FBI at the Port, which apparently involves CFO Ron Baker and Goverment Affairs Director Eric Green.

Job creation is a wonderful thing—particularly in this economic free-fall—but these new jobs are not guaranteed. And, are we willing to sacrifice any form of ethics in pursuing them? Does Rick Ferrin have any responsibility for his former Board Chairman, with whom he had a close working relationship, and his employees at the Port?

At this point, according to the Board of the Jacksonville Port Authority, the attidue seems to be, who cares?


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One Response - Comments are closed.

  1. spidey says:

    In the performance evaluation world, they call this the “halo effect” – an effect whereby the perception of positive qualities in one thing or part gives rise to the perception of similar qualities in related things or in the whole.


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