A state administrative judge recommended Dec. 7 that City Commissioner Nancy Oakley be fined $5,000, censured and reprimanded for ethics violations involving what he called bizarre behavior.
Judge Robert Cohen’s order stems from testimony that includes allegations she groped and face-licked a former Madeira Beach city manager. Also alleged was that she committed similar behavior involving other employees on previous occasions.
Cohen found that suspension or removal from office is not appropriate in her case.
“A public censure and reprimand, along with less than the maximum civil penalty will send the message to the respondent that her actions were unwarranted and, hopefully, will serve as a wake-up call to her to voluntarily seek appropriate counseling and/or treatment for her behavior,” Cohen wrote.
Oakley told the Beacon she has retained an attorney and intends to fight the ruling.
According to the case recoreds in November 2012 an outdoor City Commission meeting was held in conjunction with the King of the Beach fishing tournament.
After the meeting was over, Oakley licked City Manager Shane Crawford up the side of his face and neck. The event was witnessed by former City Clerk Cheryl McGrady and others, the judge wrote.
Oakley then groped Crawford by grabbing his penis and buttocks. She then threw a punch at McGrady after she told Oakley that her actions were inappropriate, the judge wrote.
David Marsicano, who has been serving as Madeira Beach’s public works and marina director for 17 years, said that he witnessed the face-licking incident. He also said he had also been licked by Oakley on a different occasion.
The judge concluded that no credible evidence was presented to demonstrate why seven witnesses would fabricate facts pertaining to allegations of face licking.
“The act of licking a person on the face and neck is too unusual to be contrived by multiple witnesses and multiple victims,” he wrote.
He also said that the testimony of Oakley’s witnesses, her prior DUI, the three cases of licking a man’s face in public prior to the City Commission meeting, and the incidents occurring at the meeting all point to someone who may have an alcohol problem.
Based upon findings of fact and conclusions of law, the clear and convincing evidence presented at the final hearing established that Oakley violated the state’s code of ethics and should receive discipline from the commission, Cohen said.
The parties have 15 days from the date of the recommended order to file exceptions with the Commission on Ethics. That is similar to an appeal to the commission.
The commission will hear the exceptions at the Jan. 25 meeting and determine whether to approve and adopt the recommended order. Then, Jan. 30, the commission will issue its final order. The final order will go to the governor’s office for issuance of an executive order.
Meanwhile, the Ethics Commission Dec. 7 adopted a joint stipulation agreed upon by the commission advocate and Crawford, who was found to have violated the gift law by accepting prohibited gifts from lobbyists.
He also was found to have a conflicting contractual relationship with a developer. The commission recommended a civil penalty of $2,000 be imposed by the governor.