First Read

Tallahassee mayor denies he violated state's open meeting law

'...There are no Sunshine (Law) violations. None,' John Dailey said.

From left, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey, City Commissioners Curtis Richardson and Jeremy Matlow.

From left, Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey, City Commissioners Curtis Richardson and Jeremy Matlow. Photo illustration by City & State. Photos via City of Tallahassee.

The silence has finally been broken about allegations that two Tallahassee elected officials violated state Sunshine law – but the issue remains open. City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow claimed on social media earlier this week that Mayor John Dailey and Commissioner Curtis Richardson violated open meetings law by privately discussing an item before it was heard at the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency meeting last night. Dailey and Richardson did not respond to requests for comment about the issue from news outlets.

Richardson said nothing about the allegation. Dailey kept his remarks brief on the allegation during the meeting, denying that any violation had occurred and recounting that he was in Richardson’s office to ask how the commissioner and his family were doing. He said Matlow couldn’t even see into the office. “I do not respond to Twitter. That’s always been my official policy. There are no Sunshine (Law) violations. None,” Dailey said.

Before that, Dailey again refused to talk to the press one-on-one about the issue. Bugra Demirel, the business owner and beneficiary of money from the agenda item Dailey and Richardson allegedly discussed, accused Matlow aide Ryan Ray, who’s also chair of the Leon County Democratic Party, of following him around during a meeting break, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Ray posted on X he was just going to get food.

Despite the controversy, funding for Demirel’s project on the South Monroe Street was approved 6-5. While that issue is over for now, Matlow reported what he saw to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, so the question of whether there was an improper “secret meeting” remains unresolved for now. 

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