DEVELOPING: Ethics Complaint Against City On Heels Of Regan Evaluation
A few weeks back, My 904 News brought you the story of city contracts that had possibly been influenced by the City Manager, John Regan, where money ended up in the hands of a consulting firm, Cotleur and Hearing, a firm that employs the City Manager's daughter.
We're told now that an attorney from Keller Legal has made a pointed Public Records Request to the City Commissioners, referencing that a Florida Ethics Complaint has been filed to investigate potential violations by City Manager, John P. Regan.
Zachary Keller's statement on the matter: "I'm not at liberty to discuss the details of any complaint filed with the Florida Ethics Commission; however, Keller Legal is an advocate for open government and integrity by those in public office. The citizens of St. Augustine deserve to know that their elected officials strive to be good stewards of every tax dollar. The Public Records Request is to provide clarification for the citizens. Transparency yields accountability."
We're told that the City commission has been made aware of the complaint and is being asked to provide documentation.
The Narrative Summary sent to us in part reads,
"It has recently come to my attention through a series of local news media reports, that a possible violation of Florida Statutes Section 112.3135 (the Florida anti-nepotism law) and the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act, Florida Statutes §287.055 has occurred in St. Augustine, Florida.
I am summarizing the articles linked above for your review. The news agency my 904 has reported that St. Augustine City Manager, John P. Regan, has directed certain contracts to a firm “seamlessly integrated” and doing a tremendous amount of work with his daughter’s firm (Matthews Design Group and Cotleur & Hearing respectively). Most disturbing is that, as reported, City Manager, John P. Regan, admitted to this in a public hearing before the City Commissioners. The City Commissioners initially sanctioned this, as they took zero action in response. It is further reported that the City Manager, John P. Regan, gave a private tour of St. Augustine, to the leadership of Cotleur & Hearing after the City Manager admitted that it was a conflict of interest for Cotleur & Hearing (and his daughter) to be employed in St. Augustine Contracts. The giving of private tours is not within the normal scope of the City Managers duties. "
According to information we received, Keller Legal is asking for the following information from the City of St. Augustine...
1. Copies of all bid packets provided to the St. Augustine City Commission for contracts ultimately awarded to Matthews Design Group.
2. Copies of all qualification evaluations for Matthews Design Group and their competitors that resulted in contract awards to Matthews Design Group.
3. Copies of all qualification evaluations for Cotleur & Hearing and their competitors that resulted in contract awards to Cotleur & Hearing.
4. Any disciplinary review of the actions of John P. Regan.
5. A complete list of all currently qualified candidates for landscaping design bids for the City of St. Augustine, Florida.
6. Copies of all public notices associated with the contracts ultimately awarded to Matthews Design Group.
7. Copies of all public notices associated with the contracts ultimately worked by Cotleur & Hearing.
8. A complete list of all contracts awarded to landscape design firms from 2013 to present, including the dollar amount for each contract.
9. Copies of all public notices for all opportunities to bid for contracts by landscape design firms awarded from 2013 to present.
10. Copies of all complaints submitted to the City related to Matthews Design Group.
11. Copies of all complaints submitted to the City related to Cotleur & Hearing.
12. Copies of all documents, including electronic email communications, relating to the employment of Cotleur & Hearing, and/or the daughter of John P. Regan.
13. Copies of all documents, including electronic email communications, relating to the employment of Matthews Design Group and John P. Regan.
Given this new information, how can we expect City Commissioners to review John Regan tomorrow morning?
Unless I'm killed, or "die in a mysterious accident" tonight, I'll be at the commission meeting, covering it all.
For those of you who can't make it at 8am, stay tuned to My 904 for what will most likely be exclusive coverage, since local fake media has no interest in this story.