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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jun. 20, 201910:42 AM EST

Downtown Investment Authority reveals board member scoring for CEO candidates

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Agency was accused of selecting Lori Boyer in a secret ballot.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Downtown Investment Authority on Wednesday made public the individual scores given by each board member in its selection of City Council member Lori Boyer as the authority’s next CEO. 

The board then unanimously approved Boyer’s employment contract. She will begin her duties July 1.

The authority released the individual scores after allegations the DIA violated Florida law in how it selected Boyer.

Scoring cards filled out during the selection process May 15 were made public immediately, but did not include the names of the board members who filled them out.

On June 6, two attorneys from the nonprofit First Amendment Foundation of Tallahassee and the Jacksonville Ethics Commission issued a statement that the anonymous scorecard ballots constituted a secret vote that violated Florida Sunshine Law.

Boyer was selected over Gregory Flisram, vice president of the Economic Development Corp. of Kansas City, and former New Orleans Redevelopment Authority official Kevin Hanna.

After three hours of public interviews, Boyer topped Flisram by 10 points. The scoring cards showed Boyer with 356 points, Flisram with 346 and Hanna in third with 311.

Here is how the board members scored the candidates. Up to five points were awarded in 10 categories including management style, downtown management experience and government relations:

• Oliver Barakat: Flisram  33, Hanna 31,  Boyer 47

• Dane Grey: Flisram  48, Hanna 47,  Boyer 46

• Craig Gibbs: Flisram  40, Hanna  45,  Boyer 38

• Todd Froats: Flisram  48,  Hanna 43,  Boyer 45

• Braxton Gillam: Flisram  46, Hanna  43,  Boyer 46

• Marc Padgett: Flisram  48, Hanna 33,  Boyer 46

• Brenna Durden: Flisram  42, Hanna 34,  Boyer 44

• Ron Moody: Flisram  41, Hanna 35,  Boyer 44

It was Barakat’s 14-point difference in favor of Boyer that gave her the edge in the overall score.

Board Chair Jim Bailey, who was absent for a portion of the interview process, did not offer candidate scores.

Before the agency released the individual board member scores Wednesday, DIA Interim CEO Brian Hughes said that the board’s proceedings in May did not violate Sunshine Law.

Hughes, who also is Mayor Lenny Curry’s chief of staff, said the public interviews and the subsequent scoring process was done in a “transparent and appropriate manner.”

“At no time, did this body conduct a secret ballot. This conclusion was made by the media and others who had not reviewed the full public record of all that had been conducted by this board and staff,” Hughes said.

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