Response from County on EDC question

Dear Mr. Huey,

Thank you for your response. I look forward to any information you can provide, though I am disappointed that the Commission is asking you to do what I believe is their job.
A County culture which allows ethical ambiguity to exist and persist is the responsibility of the County Commission. With the firing of Mr. Reid and Mr. Uebelacker, the Commission has created an environment where  questioning their actions or offering alternative approaches can result in termination.

Thank you for your polite, professional reply.

Best regards,

Cathy Antunes
On Apr 23, 2014, at 6:02 PM, Mark Huey <> wrote:

Mrs. Antunes,

Thanks for your thoughtful questions. I look forward to providing you helpful responses as quickly as possible. If for some reason I cannot get them to you within the next 48 hours, I will give you a status update..

Best Regards,
Mark Huey
President and CEO
Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County
1680 Fruitville Road
Suite 402
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 309-1200 ext. 100 Fax (941) 309-1209

EDC Chairman’s Advisors: Adams and Reese LLP, Benderson Development Company, LLC; BMW of Sarasota; Clarke Advertising and Public Relations; Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc.; Comcast; Fawley Bryant Architects, Inc.; Florida Blue; Florida Power and Light Company; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Halfacre Construction Company; Hembree & Associates, Inc.; Herald-Tribune Media Group; HuB; Kerkering, Barberio & Co.; Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty; PGT Industries; PNC Bank; Sarasota Bradenton International Airport; Sarasota Magazine Biz(941); Sarasota Memorial Health Care System; Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP; SouthTech Solutions; SunTrust; TECO – Peoples Gas; The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce; University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee; Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen; Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc.

EDC Founders: Casto Lifestyle Properties; Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc.; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Halfacre Construction Company; Kerkering, Barberio & Co.; Michael Saunders & Company; Osprey Real Estate Services; RE/MAX Alliance Group; Sarasota Association of Realtors®; Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc.; SunTrust; Verizon; Wagner Realty; Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen; WilsonMiller – Stantec, Inc.

Follow the EDC on Youtube, LinkedIn and Twitter
Confidential information may be contained in this message. The information is intended to be conveyed only to the designated recipient(s) of the message. No representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy of the information contained herein. Copyright and all other rights reserved. Unauthorized use, distribution or reproduction of this message or its contents is prohibited.


—–Original Message—–
From: Carolyn Mason []
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:04 PM
To: ‘Catherine Antunes’
Cc: Mark Huey; Tom Harmer
Subject: FW: EDC Board of Directors

Mrs. Antunes,

Please accept my apology for noting below that our county administrator would update us with regard to your email questions/concerns. I have copied Mark Huey, who is the appropriate individual to address your concerns.

Thank you again, for sharing them with me. I really appreciate it.

—–Original Message—–
From: Carolyn Mason
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 3:41 PM
To: Catherine Antunes
Cc: Tom Harmer
Subject: Re: EDC Board of Directors

Mrs. Antunes,

thank you for sharing your comments and concerns with me. I really appreciate it. I have copied the county administrator so that he can update us (you and the BOCC).

Carolyn J. Mason
Sarasota County Commission
PH: 941-861-5344

On Apr 23, 2014, at 11:58 AM, “Catherine Antunes” <> wrote:

Hello Commissioners,

I am writing to inquire about the status of the Economic Development Corporation board of directors and the criteria used to appoint and retain EDC directors.

Specifically, one year ago a local attorney was found guilty of malpractice by a federal jury. He was sued by the FDIC for failing to represent a bank’s interests properly.

A Yale law professor testified in the case, calling the multiple conflict of interests the worst he’s ever seen:

Despite the findings of a Federal jury, who concluded this attorney failed to protect the bank’s interests in making a 5.3 million dollar loan, the local attorney one year later serves as a board member of the Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation, as shown on the EDC website.

It seems the Federal jury’s findings regarding malpractice/conflicts of interest in protecting a client making a significant loan would uniquely disqualify an individual from serving on the EDC.

Can the BCC please provide an explanation why this individual serves on the EDC board of directors?

The recent firing of the County Ethics Officer who questioned County Commissioner actions, specifically the client relationship between SANCA and a Commissioner-owned enterprise, indicates a failure to uphold ethical (and possibly legal) standards by the BCC. The Commissioner who owned the event company consistently failed to recuse himself from SANCA votes with one exception. This is not meant to suggest recusal is a sufficient remedy – it appears the client relationship may be highly improper.

When Bob Waecther was filmed stealing the identity of a fellow Republican on videotape, the BCC took no action regarding the propriety of his continued service in official advisory roles. After Mr. Zoller and I wrote to you questioning his continued service, Mr. Waechter resigned.

The lack of proactive leadership regarding sound ethical standards is an abrogation of your duty to provide the public with honest services. Please advise as to how the EDC board is configured and reviewed, and what, if any, action you plan to take to address the problem noted and any other potential issues (e.g. is it appropriate for a corporate recipient of EDC grants and County tax exemptions to serve as chair of the EDC board of directors).


Thank you,

Cathy Antunes

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: