Tallahassee City Commissioners Vote 3-2 to Investigate County Commissioner

In a contentious move escalating tensions throughout Capital City government, the Tallahassee City Commission voted 3-2 to investigate their County Commission colleague over allegedly jumping a fence.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox said she made the motion to “send a message” after County Commissioner David O’Keefe allegedly traversed a fence while observing the removal of 20 oak trees at the Northwood Centre.

“If Johnny had done this, Johnny would have been arrested,” said Williams-Cox, whose motion to investigate O’Keefe was supported by Mayor John Dailey and Commissioner Curtis Richardson.

Williams-Cox attempted to implicate her colleague City Commission Jeremy Matlow as well, who also documented the removal of oak trees just hours after City officials said they would “pause” destruction of the trees.

“What we saw was a true slap in the face to the community, where management was on TV that morning saying they were going to work with the community while at the same time, trees were coming down. So if you’re asking about my involvement that day, yeah — you brought my name up,” said Matlow.

“At least I’m bringing your name up sitting next to you. You bring my name up to the Democrat and question my appointments,” replied Williams-Cox, referring to criticism over her appointment of controversial Blueprint grant recipient and Grow Tallahassee developer operative Bugra Demirel to the city’s charter review committee.

The fence in question was not marked with a “no trespassing” sign.

Commissioner Jeremy Matlow, who voted No on the motion, called the vote a legally dubious move to criminalize political opposition to the local establishment.

The move provoked huge quantities of controversy, still unfolding, across the Tallahassee political world.

“I’m a little shocked, I’ll just say, per the conversation we just had, I think that I feel comfortable with the process playing itself out like it usually would, with TPD handling this,” said Commissioner Jack Porter during the meeting. “So for that reason, I don’t feel comfortable supporting this motion.”

“I know the City Commission brought up Northwood during their public meeting,” Commissioner O’Keefe said in a statement. “I would never and did not jump over a construction site fence with a no trespassing sign on it.”

“Out of respect for the investigative and legal process, it would be inappropriate to discuss it right now. I will discuss it in time, but not until we let the legal process play out.”

“Commissioner O’Keefe’s vigilance is a breath of fresh air, documenting the latest misdeeds of an increasingly unhinged administration,” said Leon County Democratic Treasurer Will Crowley.

“As long as City leaders continue to destroy our natural resources and deceive the public, we will see people willing to stand up and say ‘This is wrong.’ And so is official retaliation against political opposition.”

Curtis Richardson, who is up for re-election in 2024, is married to Florida 2nd Circuit Judge Nina Ashenafi Richardson.

Williams-Cox, Richardson and Dailey will share the same table with O’Keefe at an upcoming Blueprint meeting on February 29.

Sources say Mayor Dailey may have invoked the word “felony” in his Commission remarks in order to attempt to precipitate O’Keefe’s removal from office by Governor Ron DeSantis.

One response to “Tallahassee City Commissioners Vote 3-2 to Investigate County Commissioner”

  1. Kati Avatar

    Bugra Demirel and Commissioner Cox need to be investigated by the FBI for bribery kickbacks on the somo walls project.

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