Ethics Panel Recommends $3,000 Fine, Reprimand For Former Century Mayor

January 31, 2009

The state ethics commission has found former Mayor Evelyn Hammond misused her position, and they have recommended that she be ordered to pay a $3,000 fine.

The recommendation made by the Florida Commission on Ethics also calls for Hammond to receive a public censure and reprimand.

Hammond used her position to retaliate against Century Little League and its president, Dabney Longhorne, when that organization failed to hire her son as chief umpire,  according to the ethics commission findings.

The administrative law judge that heard the case recommended that Hammond receive just a public censure. The advocate for the complainants recommended that she be slapped with a $7,000 civil penalty in addition to the public censure and reprimand. Hammond objected to any civil penalty at all, arguing that by being branded “corrupt” her name would be ruined, ant that itself was more devastating than any monetary fine.

After a review of the complete record, the ethics commission recommended an increase in the punishment suggested by the by the administrative law  judge that heard the case because Hammond’s “violation of the Code of Ethics is a serious violation that not only affected Century Little League, but also affected the community.”

According to the ethics commission, Hammond “withheld her true retaliatory motivations at Town County meetings when recommending that the town take over the Century Little League concession stand and her inconsistent statements in that regard have been taken into account in recommending an increase in the recommended punishment”.

Hammond’s “sole motivation was revenge,” the ethics commission findings report states.

Last year, the ethics commission found probable cause to believe that Hammond, during her term as mayor of the Town of Century, misused her office by allowing her son to continue to receive utility services when his account was delinquent or by directing that late fees be dropped from his account.

The commission also found probable cause to believe that she misused her position to retaliate against Century Little League for her son’s special benefit. Charges that she misused her office to give a raise to her son and charges that she promoted, advanced, or advocated the promotion or advancement of her relatives were dismissed.

The ethics complaint alleged that Hammond’s son, Eddie Hammond, did not pay his utility bills for four years while working as a supervisor for the town’s utilities department. The complaint charged that when the bills were found, Evelyn Hammond waived $200 in late charges and fines and paid the remaining $1,700.

The ethic’s complaint also charges that Hammond took over concessions at the Little League Park concession stand and hired someone from Alabama to run it. The concessions stand had previous raised funds for the Little League ball teams.

A complaint had also been filed that Hammond used her position has mayor to obtain a raise for her son, but the ethics commission did not find probable cause in that case.

The ethics complaints were filed by Ann Brooks, Nolan Wilson and Annie Savage.

Hammond was defeated 341 votes to 241 votes in her bid for re-election by now Mayor Freddie McCall. The race received a lot of media attention after Hammond alleged that McCall and new council member Nadine McCaw attempted to buy votes with money and watermelons, allegations that they both denied.

For a complete in-depth look at the ethics complaints against Hammond, click here.


4 Responses to “Ethics Panel Recommends $3,000 Fine, Reprimand For Former Century Mayor”

  1. Snow on February 5th, 2009 7:17 pm

    She should not care about her son, your parents don’t care about you do they C.C.2 and observer who ever you are. She was a great mayor and I wished we had her back. She tried hard to help this small town but some cant see that. I wish I had 3000 dollars to give her she is a great lady. she only cares to much about her son she needs to let him grow on up. Its a small town with small town minds Mrs. Hammonds don’t pay these jealous people no attention they throw rocks but they them selves know you are a great lady. I miss you and i love you god bless you!!!!!!!!!!

  2. an observer on February 3rd, 2009 10:13 am

    what does she do, support her son? Seems like he can’t even speak for himself because she is always trying to run his life….what’s the deal here?

  3. concerned citizen #2 on February 1st, 2009 9:25 pm

    Ths city of Century and The Little League should make sure that her son or any of her family has nothing to do with baseball ever again in the county. It was disgraceful what they did to the community and the childern that played baseball in Century and around the Little League. She is corrupt and this one really proves it on the ex-mayor. I wouldn’t show my face around town if it had been me that treated the kids that way. Fine way to show our kids what a crooked political system we have in this country. God help us all.

  4. chuck on January 31st, 2009 6:45 pm

    Big city politics with a small town mind……does’nt work.