She recommends Deputy Director Kirby Oberdorfer to succeed her to lead the Office of Ethics, Compliance and Oversight.
Carla Miller is retiring as director of the city Office of Ethics, Compliance and Oversight, effective Oct. 1.
Miller, 70, said March 29 that after 24 years of service to the city she will be putting more time into the nonprofit she established to promote ethics development and education and will assume a part-time role in the Ethics Office during the transition.
“It’s a good time to make sure a succession plan is in place. I think the office is ready to expand and I’ll do anything I can to help. I won’t be knitting or playing bingo,” Miller said.
After graduating from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 1979, Miller joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville, where she prosecuted white-collar crime.
She was in private practice in 1997 when she volunteered to serve on the city Ethics Commission, recruited by Mayor John Delaney and the city general counsel.
Miller helped write the first ethics code for local government. The city also established a 24/7 confidential whistleblower hotline to give city employees and the public a means to report suspected unethical activity.
She accepted the ethics officer appointment from Mayor John Peyton in 2007 and became a city employee.
In 2011, Miller became director of the city Office of Ethics, Compliance and Oversight.
She was named a fellow of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University in 2013. It was established to strengthen teaching and research about ethical issues, foster sound norms of ethical reasoning and civic discussion and to share its work in the public interest.
She formed CityEthics.org, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting ethics development and education. Her work as a consultant has helped many other municipalities in the U.S. as well as foreign governments develop and enforce ethics practices.
In 2019, Miller raised issues with the attempt to sell JEA. That led to the investigation with the city Inspector General that revealed conflicts in the negotiation process.
The findings resulted in the end of the proposed sale, as well as the resignation or termination of several top executives at JEA involved in the negotiations.
Miller was the 2020 Jacksonville Daily Record Lawyer of the Year.
In a letter submitted March 26 to the Ethics Commission, Miller recommends Ethics Office Deputy Director Kirby Oberdorfer as her successor.
“Kirby has trained with me for five years to learn the many intricacies of the position. More importantly, as a former member and Chair of the Ethics Commission, she has the passion to continue the work of the office.
“She has worked by my side at the City since 2015 and understands the people and processes involved with the Ethics Office,” Miller wrote.
Oberdorfer is a 1999 graduate of the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.