City administrator Carl Callahan faces a litany of ethics complaints filed against him by local resident Barbara Elliott, who is associated with local activist group Stone Soup Unity Community.
Elliott filed six complaints with the Florida Commission on Ethics and a probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 27 in Tallahassee.
The hearing is automatic for every complaint filed and will determine if, or how, the case proceeds.
“The sole purpose of the probable cause hearing is to evaluate the results of the preliminary investigation,” said Millie Fulford, complaint coordinator for the ethics commission.
All parties can attend the Jan. 27 hearing but, “no witnesses may be called and no new evidence may be introduced,” Fulford wrote in a letter obtained by the Bradenton Herald.
The six accusations range from Callahan’s choice of vendors to previous business ties with Scott Tibbetts, who Elliott said, “would not have acquired (riverfront) property if Carl hadn’t helped him and they were business partners at the time.”
Elliott said if the commission finds Callahan in violation of any complaint, “I’m going to file a criminal complaint and call for a forensic audit of city hall money. These people get away with this kind of stuff because no one does anything about it because no one knows how.”
Stone Soup is still fighting the city in court on its decision to relocate Glazier-Gates Park in favor of the 520-unit Villages at Riverwalk currently under construction. A judge threw out the lawsuit in May, but it is on appeal with a new court date scheduled for Jan. 18 in Tampa. The group then attempted a recall effort of the city council members not up for election, but that effort ended in failure in October.
Callahan could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.