Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Jacksonville’s Ethics Hotline Cases

The City’s Ethics Officer has released an update on complaints made via the Ethics Hotline. (630-1015, just in case anyone has something they would like to report.) Once again, although the employees of the City (and citizens) are to be commended for reporting behavior that they deemed unethical, it does appear that the majority of these cases seem to be swept under the rug. Among the most recent cases:

  1. Allegations of favoritism in awarding contracts to PRI (Presentation Resource Inc) because of their close relationship with head of the City’s Special Events Department.  (Of course, an executive of PRI was the President of the Jacksonville City Council at one point.)  The Ethics Committee found that the contracts in the amounts of $4,105, $39,963.50 and $45,000 did not violate City procedure.  (Color me shocked.)
  2. Allegations of favortism in awarding a JEDC contract to a business owned by the Holzendorf family.  (King Holzendorf is a former Council Member, Betty Holzendorf was a former employee of Mayor Jake Godbold and a State Senator.  Their son is employed by the current Mayor.)  The Ethics Committee brushed this one aside by noting that the $125,000 loan and $125,000 grant were approved by the City Council and the meetings were properly noticed.  (I suppose its too much to ask the Ethics Committee to look any further than that.)
  3. Allegations that JAA Executive Director John Clark’s wife, Hester Clark, received special treatment in winning city contracts.  The Committee brushed this one aside by noting that the contracts were actually split between the Dalton agency, a well-recognized public relations firm, and Ms. Clark.  (No word on why it was necessary to also award the contracts to Ms. Clark and what her qualifications were.)
  4. Allegations that another contract with the City’s Special Events decision went to PRI and the City employee was rewarded with free tickets to Jaguar games.  (Although at this point, one’s presence in the Unamed Stadium for a Jaguar game is probably considered a charitable donation.)  The Ethics Committee spoke with Theresa Price, the City’s Special Events Manager, who spoke with the employee involved.  The employee claimed that they paid $15 for the four tickets and the incident was brushed aside.

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