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Friday September 19th 2014

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Gunther says city and state ethics codes don’t apply to CMPA

cmpa 1
Fred Gunther visited the Independent News and said that he believes that he did nothing wrong when he presented a competitive lease proposal for Parcel 1 at the Maritime Park. He said that he shouldn’t have used the word “client” and that he would not have accepted a commission unless the CMPA board approved.

Gunther also said that he wouldn’t present any more lease proposals to the CMPA board while serving on the board.

We agreed to disagree. My opinion is that he should have told the client to seek out another realtor and recused himself from any discussion of the parcel. His actions hurt the public trust in the CMPA and the city of Pensacola.

After the meeting, Gunther sent me the following email and attachments:

Hello Rick,

I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me today. I have attached the documents I dropped off earlier so you would not have to scan them.

As we discussed, I believe the headline “Gunther Violates City Ethics Code” is misleading as no opinion has been rendered by the City Attorney’s office or anyone else that this is the case. The City Attorney has stated publicly that they can not represent the CMPA, as it is a 501c3 non-profit corporation and not a City Board.
Another headline “Gunther’s clearly states it’s his client and expects to be paid” is misleading as well. I did use the term client but never stated I “expected” to be paid. I fault myself for not providing more clarity at the meeting, but I was not hiding anything. I did not know if I could receive compensation or not and would not have done so without Board approval. I would like to request that you remove these headlines and issue a correction.

I do appreciate your offer to post my letter to City Council and the exhibits which accompany it. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Fred

Fred Gunther, CCIM
Gunther Properties, LLC
213 S. Baylen Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

I do believe that Gunther violated the city code of ethics. The question is whether the code applies to the CMPA and that is a decision that the Pensacola City Council will have to make. I will add his viewpoint to that post, but will not change the title.

On the second post, a reasonable person watching the video of the CMPA meeting would make the assumption that he expected to receive a commission if the lease proposal was approved. However, it’s not conclusive. I have changed that title.

Here are the attachments that Gunther included with his email:

Letter to City Council

Exhibits