‘No violation’ in complaint against commission candidate

Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 02:22 PM.

However, city auditor and clerk Charlotte Pierce notified the Office of Special Counsel that the Port St. Joe Water and Wastewater Department is overseeing the wastewater upgrades and that Public Works was not involved in the road project for North Florida Child Development.

“We understand that (Port St. Joe Public Works) does not receive federal funds and neither (Grantland) nor (his staff has) any duties connected to the above referenced federally financed projects. Further, (Port St. Joe Public Works) performs duties independent of federal financing,” Pluta wrote.

“Based on the preceding, we do not believe that (Grantland is) performing duties in connection with federally financed activities” and therefore no violation of the Hatch Act was found, Pluta concluded.

When Grantland first sought the District 3 seat in 2008 an opinion was sought from the Office of Special Counsel whether his continued employment with the city constituted a conflict under the Hatch Act.

At that time, the city was using a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for street and sidewalk improvements along Williams Avenue.

As noted by the Office of Special Counsel at the time, Pierce, then solely the city’s grant writer, and Gail Alsobrook of the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency were responsible for pursuing the grant and the hiring and supervising of the project was overseen by the city manager, Charlie Weston, Alsobrook and city engineer Bill Kennedy.

Weston also told Special Counsel attorney Mariana Liverpool that no employees Grantland supervises in Public Works were involved in the project.

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