White Springs’ Mayor Spencer Lofton has ALLEGEDLY VIOLATED THE FOLLOWING LAWS of the State of Florida
Title X PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; Chapter 112 – GENERAL PROVISIONS OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
(d) “Relative,” for purposes of this section only, with respect to a public official, means an individual who is related to the public official as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, or half sister.
(2)(a) A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, or advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a position in the agency in which the official is serving or over which the official exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official. An individual may not be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in an agency if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement has been advocated by a public official, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual or if such appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement is made by a collegial body of which a relative of the individual is a member. However, this subsection shall not apply to appointments to boards other than those with land-planning or zoning responsibilities in those municipalities with less than 35,000 population. This subsection does not apply to persons serving in a volunteer capacity who provide emergency medical, firefighting, or police services. Such persons may receive, without losing their volunteer status, reimbursements for the costs of any training they get relating to the provision of volunteer emergency medical, firefighting, or police services and payment for any incidental expenses relating to those services that they provide.
(1) “Benefit” means gain or advantage, or anything regarded by the person to be benefited as a gain or advantage, including the doing of an act beneficial to any person in whose welfare he or she is interested, including any commission, gift, gratuity, property, commercial interest, or any other thing of economic value not authorized by law.
Accusations and Circumstances involving Spencer Lofton’s Alleged Violation:
Wardell Lofton, son of Mayor Spencer Lofton, was asked by his father, without council approval nor securing other bids, to produce an emblem for a T-Shirt for use by certain individuals at the Willie Guy Turner Park for Children. We do not know who supplied the T-Shirts, but we can ascertain, none of which was provided with council approval.
With various resources within the Town of White Springs, to produce such graphic or artwork designs, some of which would provide the work for free since it was for the Children’s park, but none were asked. Instead, Mayor Lofton, asked his son, who is living at his residence to do the work and to be paid an amount of $110.00, per Town of White Springs Check no. 20395. It may be added that Spencer Lofton is not gainfully employed and his spouse supports him and his family
To add to the deceit, the Check Memorandum stated “Inv.#1 – Lotus Creative Designs” to insinuate that it was a Company to which the check was being issued, even though the Check was payable to “Wardell Lofton”. A copy of this check is attached. Lotus Creative Designs is a computer program one can download for a fee.
Even though White Springs has a Town Manager/ Weak Mayor form of Government, Mayor Lofton in many cases, since he has been elected, abuses various policies relating to what he can and cannot do. Two other Councilors will do nothing about his intent so spend funds the Town of White Springs does not have; hence we call them “The Gang of Three”, Lofton, Bullard and Brown. Whereas, if Dr. Helen Miller or Walter Mckenzie, councilors for White Springs, even made a request, they would be threatened to lose their council seat by the Gang of Three. This favoritism must cease and desist but we understand this latter accusation is not under the auspices of the Commission on Ethics, but only as knowledge and in conjunction with other complaints submitted by me.
As History, a few years back, Mayor Lofton had been offered a seat on the Council which he accepted; but Since he and his family apparently needed the money, he felt that he could accept, at the same time as being a member of the council, a job to handle the Children’s After School H.O.P.E. program, where he would receive a far higher salary than that which he was paid to be a councilor. After much persuasion by the Town Council without a Complaint at that time to the Commission on Ethics, Mr. Lofton resigned from the council. However, he then hired his spouse to assist him with the H.O.P.E program, even though she rarely appeared on the premises to work with the children. The majority of funds then went to him and his wife instead of the Children of White Springs and subsequently then Mayor Miller had to remove him from his H.O.P.E. position.
Although the aforementioned is past the statute of limitations, it is a solid example of Mayor Lofton’s intent to place his family first in lieu of the Citizens or the Children of White Springs.
I hope the Commission on Ethics will not strictly adhere to the usual “Legal insufficiency by reason of Management Decisions” because this IS NOT a Management Decision but rather, if he is not called out on this violation, we, the Citizens of White Springs, realize, his handling of the Town’s money without Council Approval will only become far worse. He like the “Gang of Three” feel they are invincible and as long as the Law does not comply with the violations of the statute, the situation will become far worse. Mayor Lofton has poor management skills, has no planning capabilities and no business experience whatsoever which does not fall under the law, but his hiring of Family must cease and desist.
Karin Ann Griffin