Kerri Stewart cleared of ethics charges – Florida Politics (blog)
Justice was delayed for an important member of Jacksonville’s city government. But on Monday, it was finally delivered, as one of the most honorable people in City Hall was cleared of what were ultimately spurious charges.
Last year, a report from the Jacksonville City Council auditor’s office implied Kerri Stewart, the chief of staff for Mayor Lenny Curry, had acted improperly years ago in a previous role with the city.
Stewart was head of the Neighborhoods department under the John Peyton administration, when a city contract was facilitated for consulting services from a company (Infinity Global Solutions) that she went on to work for.
Local media raised a ruckus about it at the time. One local outlet called it a “dubious” deal, predicated on a “no-bid contract” and the city had nothing to show for its million-dollar deal.
Meanwhile, at least one Republican council member wondered privately if there was substance to the wrongdoing, even going so far as to muse about Stewart potentially needing to resign her position.
However, after due process, the city’s ethics director concluded Stewart had done nothing wrong.
In an email to Florida Politics, Ethics Director Carla Miller summed up the current state of the case.
“This recommendation was reviewed by the Ethics Commission last night; the case was dismissed,” Miller wrote, adding that parallel cases were dismissed against two other parties: Wight Gregor and Mayor Lenny Curry.
Miller added other insights, noting “Stewart followed the procurement process that was in effect at the time.”
As well, those who wondered about the lack of clarity in the Council Auditor’s report might find this discussion of process interesting.
“I have been told that the Council Auditor’s report did not involve taking any statements from any of the interested parties,” Miller noted.
“That is typically how they do it, though —