Escambia County Pensacola

Weekend Buzz: Possible indictment, another town hall and fundraisers

December 2, 2013

Are the Feds about to indict a local elected official?
That is the rumor that has dominated county politics over the Thanksgiving weekend. The daily newspaper has been calling county commissioners. INweekly has been checking with its sources. We did find out that a federal grand jury did meet recently. If an official is indicted, there should be a press announcement this week. Stay tuned.

Town Hall Meeting Tonight
Mayor Ashton Hayward is hosting tonight at 6 p.m. a town meeting for District 6, which is represented by Councilman Brian Spencer, at the Cobb Center located at 601 E. Mallory St. Possible topics: URAC report implementation, firing of Port director Clyde Mathis and food trucks.

Two Fundraisers
Leaders of the Pensacola Young Professionals are hosting on Thursday, Dec. 5 at campaign fundraiser for Mayor Ashton Hayward – “An Evening with Mayor Hayward. Celebrating Momentum & Supporting Re-Election.” Chad Henderson, Jason Crawford, Jeremy Brown, James Hosman, Richard Buckley, Kent Simmons, Tosh Belsinger and Justin Spence are listed as the hosts on the evite for the party which run from 5:30-7 p.m. at Bluetique, 212 S Alcaniz St. To entice people to write checks for the mayor, they will raffling off a two-night stay in Pensacola Beach condo.

At the Fish House in its Bait Shop meeting room on Wednesday, Dec. 4, Senate President Don Gaetz, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Lewis Bear, Jr., Stan Connally, Jay Patel, Lois Benson, Collier Merrill, Jim Reeves, Pam Dana and Eric Nickelsen are hosting a fundraising reception for State Senator Joe Negron (R-Stuart) from 6-7:30 p.m. Negron is considered to be in line to one day become the president of the Florida Senate.

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  • Ames December 2, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Aw now, lets get real, Amy isn’t going to port or direct anything, Amy is there because she is a tool.

  • mbc cobb December 2, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    CJ hit the nail on the head. Amy is far from the best we could find!!!

  • Henry December 2, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Hey, CJ, if you’re so smart, why don’t YOU run for mayor next year? It seems you have too much time on your hands, judging by the long BOORRRRRRINNNGG screeds you post here and in the PNJ.

  • jeeperman December 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Ahh…. indictments are a funny thing.
    The prosecutor does not need a grand jury to prosecute.
    But with a grand jury, the prosecutor can present as much or as little as they want to get the GJ to indict or not indict.

  • CJ Lewis December 2, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Thank you for reporting here that Port Director Clyde Mathis was fired, i.e. he was forced to resign. The Port Director is a direct report to City Administrator Colleen Castille charged by the Charter to “be in charge of the daily operations of the City.” At next Thursday’s regular meeting the Council needs to press Castille to explain why she requested that Mayor Hayward fire Mathis. Castille probably left a paper trail of e-mails and text messages for the media to follow. Hayward’s paper trail will be on his account used for city business. Before announcing Mathis’ resignation, reported in the daily as if Clyde was leaving to spend more time fishing and learning to play the banjo, Castille called around to City Council members to rally support for Mayor Hayward’s follow-on appointment of Amy Miller. On the Port’s website, Amy has already made herself the permanent Port Director with no “Acting” or “Interim” before her new title. The working assumption on the 7th floor must be that Amy’s confirmation hearing will be a cakewalk with no Council member daring to ask why Clyde was fired and if the problem(s) at the Port was because of Marketing & Business Development (Miller’s domain where she supervised one Billing & Accounts Payable Clerk) or Security & Operations (Glenda White who oversees Cargo Operations, Port Maintenance and Seaport Security). Everyone knows and likes Amy but is she the most qualified person in the nation to lead the Port of Pensacola into the future or just the person best known by Hayward who will do it for less than Clyde? This is another perfect example why Pensacola’s Charter needs to be amended to make it consistent with the Hialeah Charter we were told was the model used by the Charter Review Commission. In Hialeah, a department head can only be fired for just cause, and by and with the consent of the City Council. What is most striking about this latest episode is that shortly after arriving on the scene to save Hayward from himself, Castille said the first thing she told him was to stop firing everyone. Hayward cannot seem to help himself.