Tallahassee: Voter-backed ethics reform proposal fast-tracked, but with no guarantees

tlh-city-commissionThe expression “You can’t fight City Hall,” has so far held true for thousands of Tallahassee residents who want ethics reform.

Come Aug. 29, they’ll have their day in court.

At a city commissioners’ meeting Wednesday evening, city attorney Lewis Shelley announced a dispute between the city and a group representing the 26,657 ballot petition signatories is being fast-tracked in Leon County circuit court.

Shelley sued last Friday to block the measure from appearing at the polls in November, calling the proposed ethics language “unclear” and “misleading.”

“The action I took is not based on an attempt to deprive anyone who signed the petition a right to vote,” Shelley said at the public hearing, the last official meeting before an Aug. 26 ballot deadline.

Interestingly, the subject was not scheduled as part of the board’s official agenda, but two representatives from Citizens for Ethics Reform, a bipartisan coalition of government accountability groups — and target of the city’s lawsuit — spoke during time allotted for public comment.

“We believe the public deserves an opportunity to have a say in whether the ethics policy of the city of Tallahassee should be stronger,” said Marilynn Wills, the group’s co-chair.

Continue reading at Watchdog.org

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog

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