Friday, December 18, 2015

Ethics Commission Rules For Mayor Shaver, Against Ex-Mayor's Stepson

Mayor Nancy Shaver is the first elected city or county official in St. Johns County history to request and obtain a written ethics opinion from the Florida Ethics Commission. Wonder why? Her predecessors were ethically challenged, to say the least! Notice the ranting cant below from one of the other Commissioner's spouses. Whiner.

Ethics commission sides with St. Augustine mayor
Posted: December 17, 2015 - 11:33pm | Updated: December 18, 2015 - 12:16am
St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver’s ties with a local company and news site would not pose a potential voting conflict, the Florida Commission on Ethics decided recently.

“The Commission adopted a formal advisory opinion finding that the person or entity hosting and managing an elected official’s personal website is not considered a ‘business associate’ under the meaning of the voting conflict law statute, so the official is not required to abstain from voting on a measure that would fund litigation against the hosting company’s publication,” according to a news release from the ethics commission.

Shaver requested the commission on ethics review after questions came up about her relationship with Historic City Companies, which provides services for the mayor’s website, The company also operates Historic City News.

Willie Masson, stepson of former Mayor Joe Boles, raised the questions to City Attorney Isabelle Lopez. Lopez later asked for an opinion from the ethics commission at Shaver’s request.

The issue came up after Commissioner Todd Neville sought a defamation lawsuit because of a post on Historic City News. Neville later dropped his plans to seek a lawsuit, and the commission didn’t vote on it. But the matter still came before the ethics commission for a vote.

Shaver requested the review as a way to clear up any questions surrounding the relationship, she said in a previous statement. She also issued a statement on her website,, about the ethics commission’s decision:

“I am pleased that the Florida Ethics Commission determined that using the services of Historic City Companies for website management did not provide any financial advantage to me — that in fact I pay the company for routine web services. Transparency is what I stand for. It was important to me and, I believe, to the people of this city to have a clear ruling on the baseless allegations which seemed intended to interfere with the democratic process, and hinder me from casting my vote.”

The issue before the commission was whether Shaver is considered a business associate of Historic City Companies and whether that relationship would have prevented her from voting on a city-backed lawsuit against the company, according to documents filed with the ethics commission. Lopez also asked the ethics commission whether posting of Historic City News articles on would constitute a business associate relationship — if traffic is generated that brings advertising revenue for the site — that would prohibit her from voting on the suit.

The commission’s opinion says, “For purposes of the voting conflicts law, a mayor/commissioner is not a ‘business associate’ of a person or entity performing the service of hosting and managing the mayor/commissioner’s personal website.”

Florida law would not prohibit the mayor from voting, and posting news articles on the mayor’s website would not constitute a business enterprise, according to the opinion.

The commission voted to adopt its opinion on the matter on Dec. 11.


Just Asking Y 12/18/15 - 08:07 am 51Ethics vs Morals
It’s important to differentiate between what is ethical and what is morally acceptable. (Morally: based on what the conscience suggests is right or wrong, rather than on what rules or the law says should be done.) Ethically things may be fine but morally they can be shady. Don't lose sight of the fact that WHAT WAS EVALUATED WAS A BUSINESS PROCESS, NOTHING MORE. However, this goes further and deeper than that. It goes beyond business practices. It goes to Shaver giving Gold preferential treatment and news ‘scoops’ and Gold giving Shaver a blatant bias on what is loosely described as ‘news’. Gold is getting paid for his services; this is income. Shaver is paying money to Gold, most likely out of her $22,000 salary, plus incidental pay, as mayor. Morally, is this acceptable behavior? Why would anyone believe anything Gold writes when it is so obviously slanted and, in an indirect way, paid for by Shaver? Ask yourself, has he ever written anything unfavorable about Shaver? Has anything favorable been said about anyone who disagrees with her? Money does talk. Does anyone honestly believe that there is no one else who can perform these sevices for Shaver and better, like a college intern? (fyi – everything Gold does for Shaver is a public record.) I guess what each of us has to ask ourselves is this - is what is happening here morally correct? Will we validate it? Is it acceptable behavior for a public official to pay for favorable ‘news’?

NEFLNative 12/18/15 - 09:29 am 01Sounds to me......
Sounds to me like someone is STILL crying over "some spilled milk!" Time to move along folks, it's over and there's nothing to see here. smh.........

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