Federal subpoena focuses on Mayor Ashton Hayward, Jerry Pate and city contracts (updated)


This post was updated after receiving additional information from city staff.

Per a public request made by Inweekly earlier today, Tamara Fountain, the city of Pensacola’s Chief of Operations, released the federal subpoena issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office to the city, dated August 15.

The subpoena requests city documents be presented to a federal grand jury that will convene next week on Sept. 3 in Tallahassee. Individual subpoenas have also been issued to city staff but Fountain did not make those readily available to Inweekly this evening.

“We have not yet confirmed with counsel that the subpoenas served on individual employees may be released,” said Fountain in an email received at 6:31 p.m. “I will let you know as soon as I have an answer on that.”

The subpoena sent to the city – of which the city council was not informed until yesterday – requests information on the “Main Street Rehabilitation Project” that was supervised by then-City Administrator Bill Reynolds; on the city’s investment requests – which appears to target the city’s deposits in a bank run by Hayward’s supporters; on agreements with Jerry Pate Design; on the Hayward’s decision to use an insurance broker; and on the expenses of former Chief of Staff John Asmar and Mayor Hayward, including requests for reimbursement for travel – airlines, meals, hotels, etc.

Inweekly also requested an interview with Mayor Hayward to discuss the federal investigation.

Fountain issued this prepared statement on behalf of her boss:

As Mayor, I have worked to promote a culture of openness and transparency at City Hall. I am aware of the subpoenas which have been issued this week to several City employees, and I have instructed staff to immediately make available to the City Council and public any and all documents which we can legally release. Furthermore, I have asked employees to fully comply with this process as it moves forward, and my administration will make any new information available to the public as quickly as possible. Everything we do on behalf of citizens is rightfully open to review and scrutiny, and I look forward to a swift and satisfactory resolution to this inquiry.

Sources inside city hall have said that CMPA Executive Director Ed Spears received a subpoena – which may indicate the federal grand jury investigation could be much broader than the subpoena Fountain released this evening.

Read MX-2300N_20140827_180518

Note: The original post had this sentence:Reportedly the mayor is traveling with Jerry Pate to a golf tournament in New York and was not available.

On Thursday, attorney Bob Kerrigan emailed to say that the mayor worked all day yesterday at city hall. Inweekly requested Wednesday morning an interview with the mayor in an email to Chief of Operations Tamara Fountain and Interim City Administrator Dick Barker. We mentioned the trip with Jerry Pate and said that we would be willing to hold the interview next week when he returned. We received no correction or clarification on the mayor’s schedule from the COO or the administrator, only a press release after 6:30 p.m.

We have asked again for a face-to-face interview with Mayor Hayward on the federal investigation. Read more.

We received confirmation @11:50 am on Thursday that the mayor was in his office yesterday.