Escambia County Commission Terminates Administrator Janice Gilley Effective Immediately

June 17, 2021

The Escambia County Commission has terminated Administrator Janice Gilley, two years into her three year contract.

Commissioner Steven Barry made a motion during a meeting Thursday afternoon to consider Gilley’s employment contract concluded immediately. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jeff Bergosh.

The motion passed 4-1 with Commissioner Doug Underhill voting no.

“I’ve had the honor of serving for the past two years,” Gilley said after the vote, praising the county staff. “While much has been accomplished, there is still much to do to bring this county and its operations into the 21st century. I do look forward to watching that progress. As I have stated many times before, this is my home, and I love it.”

Gilley will receive severance pay as provided in her contract.

On a motion by Barry and a second by Bergosh, the commission voted 4-1, with Underill dissenting, to make Public Works (Roads & Bridges) Director & Deputy County Administrator Wes Moreno as acting county administrator. Moreno has been employed by Escambia County since 1987.

“I’ve come to the opinion that sometimes things don’t work out like you hope,” said Barry, who said no one issue led to his decision. “I believe wholeheartedly that she went into it with the best of intent…I know that I went into this with the best of intent. ”

“From my point of view, it’s just not a good fit, and it’s just not working out,” Barry continued. He offered no specifics, instead saying, “I don’t have interest in airing complaints — dirty laundry.”

“She’s always been willing to work with me,” Commissioner Bergosh.

“I’ve lost some confidence based upon the way people are treated,” Bergosh continued, referring to personnel issues and several large legal settlements. “There’s no doubt that Administrator Gilley has done a lot of things right…but there’s been other issues that’s really dragged us into areas were we didn’t have to be dragged into. ”

“You are the single greatest threat to the way we have always done business in Escambia County,” said Commissioner Underhill, praising Gilley for making tough decisions and changes to the status quo. “I applaud you; that’s what we hired you for. That’s exactly what we said we wanted a couple of years ago. You are that threat; your team is that threat.”

“I’m sensitive to having personnel discussions in a public forum…I will not publicly evaluate anyone,” Commissioner Lumon May said.

Bergosh previously noted that the only way commissioners could collectively discuss the administrator would be in an advertised public forum due to the Sunshine Law.

Commissioner Robert Bender responded only with a simple “no” when asked if he had any comments about Gilley’s performance.

“We have been friends nearly 20 years, and I still consider Janice a friend. I sincerely wish her the best with what the future has in store for her. Even having the best of intentions, sometimes things do not work out like you hope,” Barry told after the conclusion of the meeting.

“I am honored to have had the past two years to lead this amazing team of Directors and hundreds of employees in support of services for our community,” Gilley said in a written statement following the meeting “For that I thank the Board. While there are many stories and memories, I will never forget asking for live munitions to scuttle a barge headed for the I-10 Bridge during Hurricane Sally. Or the joy experienced at each celebration for the summer youth program – to see the hope for the future in those young people. While much has been accomplished, there is still much to do to bring the County and its operations into the 21st Century. I look forward to watching that progress, as I have stated many times before, this is my home, and I love it and only want what is best for everyone here.”


42 Responses to “Escambia County Commission Terminates Administrator Janice Gilley Effective Immediately”

  1. Stumpknocker on June 19th, 2021 1:50 pm

    I’m wondering why she hasn’t come forward and told her side of the story as to why or what she was told, it’s not like they can threaten her job.

  2. SueB on June 19th, 2021 8:42 am

    Terminate ALL County Commissioners by VOTING them out. OR, is there another way to remove them . . . Governor to investigate each one & remove because of their “lack of action”. Fla Governor Bush step in before in Escambia County & removed a commissioner. So, Century keep fighting within and keep District 5 commissioner out of your area.

  3. 429SCJ on June 18th, 2021 3:10 pm

    I would like to see Ms Gilly run for district five.

    Janet grew up with us through school and is one of our own, not just another outsider.

  4. Nonya on June 18th, 2021 2:30 pm

    Working for the BCC was the most toxic work environment I’ve ever been in. They had an employee commit suicide at work a few years ago for that reason. Nothing changed. Maybe someone should investigate and ask for the emails of that employee the day he committed suicide.

  5. Beth on June 18th, 2021 1:41 pm

    Barry needs to go!!

  6. Lynn Godwin on June 18th, 2021 12:52 pm

    I am guessing that much of the reasoning for removing Gilley is due to unhappy ECAT employees. I have watched many of the televised BOCC meetings and saw that their needs were/are not being met in addition to other ECAT issues. Regardless whether her termination was warranted or not, the ECAT employees were unhappy.

  7. Kathi Iannone on June 18th, 2021 10:24 am

    Why can’t this county keep employees? She didn’t fit because she did the job she was hired to do and wasn’t paying ball with the dirty ones.

    Truth always comes out in the end! This is one of the reasons why Escambia is 54 out of 60! Santa Rosa County is 12th Why is that?

    Janice Gilley keep on doing you! Any organization will be blessed to have you. Can’t wait to see what you do next which is God’s plan and Escambia County’s loss!

  8. Denny on June 18th, 2021 10:06 am

    As I recall, Gilley was nominated for the job by a commissioner after she didn’t apply for it. I don’t remember who, but it wasn’t Underhill. Now this commissioner went 180 on her.

  9. Sueb on June 18th, 2021 9:02 am


  10. Don on June 18th, 2021 9:01 am

    Time for Barry to go he can’t tell the truth anymore even about sidewalks on 9 1/2 mile road Please Run Miss Gilley

  11. Molino girl on June 18th, 2021 7:57 am

    I hope Janice Gilley will consider running for County Commissioner District 5. She is a great person, she does what’s right, and the people in the North end of the county love her. Going to be a day of reckoning for these County Commissioners! So sad, the games they play, and the residents of Escambia County pay the price.

  12. Trish on June 18th, 2021 7:14 am

    So she did what you hired her to do and now you are firing her because she did it???? I guess she kinda shook up the long timers on the board and maybe stepped on a few toes? Maybe even took away from their pocket money?

  13. tg on June 18th, 2021 7:03 am

    If the union dont like her thats a vote of confidence from me.

  14. Anne on June 18th, 2021 6:12 am

    So the Commissioners don’t want to “Air out Dirty Laundry” so won’t give REASONS for Ms. Gilley’s Termination?
    No, Don’t Drag her thru the Mud….but there should be Legitimate reasons for termination.
    I mean if she “hurt someones feelings” then deal with it.
    BOCC hurt we Taxpayers (aka “We the People) hurt our feelings when they went for the MONEY GRAB for retirements.
    Ms. Gilley, you’re likely much better off away from that situation.
    Folks who KNOW realize the Commissioners are just window dressing and it is the employees behind the scenes that keep things moving along.

  15. MR REALITY on June 18th, 2021 3:04 am

    wait, you vote to fire someone then dont have the GUTS to say why….LORD LORD LORD these 4 CLOWNS are so sad!!!! I cant WAIT TO HELP ANYONE WHO WILL RUN AGAINST A SITTING COMM….

  16. Jeff on June 17th, 2021 11:51 pm

    KATE! immature? Person? Try cynical and tired of it all…. And I’m a “people” not a person. And a taxpayer.

  17. Joey McCall on June 17th, 2021 9:17 pm

    Something is very fishy about this. Sounds a bit like she wasn’t playing by the good ole boy rules that the commissioners are use to playing by.

    As far as her replacement, I’ve known Wes Moreno since we were teenagers. He’s a fine man and will do what is right. I hope by doing what is right he doesn’t end up where Mrs. Gilley is at now.

    Maybe all the facts will come out soon just like it did when the public wanted to know what left wing socialist came up with the stupid idea to do away with Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the senior class.

  18. DP on June 17th, 2021 9:16 pm

    Pathetic dancing around what really happened. The truth please.

  19. StraightShooter on June 17th, 2021 8:58 pm

    Hold your head high. Those that know you, support you. I just hope the four that voted to terminate your contract are gone next election.
    Thank you for trying.

  20. jimsolchenberger on June 17th, 2021 7:46 pm

    I hope she will run for District 5. She has my vote.

  21. Yank on June 17th, 2021 7:38 pm

    looks like all commissioner’s except Mr. Underhill need to be removed from office. They need to look in mirror when they point finger.

  22. The vote says it all on June 17th, 2021 5:46 pm

    Since Underhill voted to retain, this termination must have been necessary.

    Underhill is a blight on the county and I’m glad he’s not running for Commissioner.

  23. Charles Sansom on June 17th, 2021 5:37 pm

    Stevie Wonder could see that this was a retalliatory action by Berry because the county administrator wouldnt give him the name(s) of those seeking public records that would possibly expose his scheme to enrich his already gracious retirement by using your property tax dollars. It was a despicable thing to do to someone who came in at a time of crisis in our county and produced great results. I hope she thinks about running for his seat when his time ignoring District 5 is up.

  24. Whisperjet on June 17th, 2021 5:34 pm

    ..well , well…I got news for yall..Janice Gilley has more integrity than those 4 commisioners combined…and she is a lot smarter than they are…thanks to Mr.Undehill for sticking with Janice…Barry said ” she didn’t fit in”…of course she didn’t because she was taught not to sale her soul for a few dollars…
    “This was a dark day in Escambia county when they remove one who could have move the county in the right direction..And I praise Pam Childers who will have to stand up to these ignorant bullies…good luck to her sucessor…

  25. Ryan on June 17th, 2021 5:16 pm

    This is incredibly suspect that this coincides with Gilley wanting to warn the public at a Thursday meeting that would see that updates are made to the county’s websites and that other notices are given that their ip address will be collected and may be part of the public record.

    I suspect that Steven Barry and the other county commissioners do not want citizens to be anonymous when requests are made to the county so that they can be personally identified through their ip address and digital forensics so they know who to attack and silence. Vote Barry and the other county commissioners out next election, enough with the corruption!

  26. J.Larry Seale on June 17th, 2021 4:55 pm

    I wish one day, the county commission could
    hire someone who would last the lenght of there
    Makes you wonder if a person really is alive………….

  27. GHB on June 17th, 2021 4:52 pm

    Janice is a fine person and has worked as a public servant well. But none of us have been on the front lines. Maybe things were not working. To say it is because of being a women is disingenuous at the least. I believe the commission by majority saw something we did not.

  28. Vanessa Sligar on June 17th, 2021 4:33 pm

    She didn’t “fit in” with them. She was no pushover. Some of the commissioners have their own agenda. They don’t care who they railroad to get what they want

  29. Kate on June 17th, 2021 4:28 pm

    Jeff your immature behavior is not becoming of you as a person.

  30. lawson a berry on June 17th, 2021 4:26 pm

    I will withhold judgment for the time being. BTW “Concerned” his name is BArry. Mine is BErry

  31. dede on June 17th, 2021 4:19 pm

    Janice said it best – “there is much to do to bring this county and it’s operations into the 21st century.” Too bad for us that they eliminate the one person who was working to accomplish that. Pensacola has the potential to be so much better if we had more leaders like Janice. Thank you Janice for your valiant efforts.

  32. Karen on June 17th, 2021 4:18 pm

    Good job Janice; you undoubtedly didn’t qualify for the ‘Good old Boys Club’ and I wonder if this had anything to do with the ad you had on TV (which I liked by the way) explaining why the union workers haven’t had a raise and who stopped them from getting one. Good job my dear your honesty is very much noticed.

  33. Jason on June 17th, 2021 4:10 pm

    When you continuously see the departure of upper echelon employees who serve the Commissioners and the County remains mired in what appears to be a septic tank, the only action left to take is to remove the five clowns remain at the top. Its time to clean house with Commissioners. Just like how the Commissioners told Gilley goodbye its time for voters to tell Commissioners goodbye at the next opportunity. And I mean ALL COMMISSIONERS.

    Its time for new blood that isnt tied to the Downtown money men and in-crowd.

  34. Eve Pearson on June 17th, 2021 3:59 pm

    @ Jeff I agree I think if the tax payers are paying for her severance pay for a year & we are getting nothing out of paying someone for nothing we the taxpayers should know why she is getting paid for nothing at our expense!!

  35. Cowboy on June 17th, 2021 3:58 pm

    It’s always about the money. Vote them all out.

  36. Concerned on June 17th, 2021 3:33 pm

    Is Janice not good enough to stand with those men? Maybe they should vote Mr Berry out before his time is up.

  37. Concerned on June 17th, 2021 3:29 pm

    Why can’t they say why they let her go? Is a woman not fit in with those all men commissioners? We voted her in so why don’t they say why they voted her out?

  38. Kate on June 17th, 2021 3:03 pm

    This a terrible mistake on the part of the BOC. Janice was a great administrator, she listened to people and made many right decisions. This is a shame. Talk about mistakes, go back a few years and you will see administrative mistakes made, that had repercussions for years to come. This is truly a dad moment in Escambia County history. I am ashamed of the BOC.

  39. Oversight on June 17th, 2021 2:56 pm

    Poor pouting Barry… He’s upset over his lost money in the lucrative retirement plan. Next election it is to retire him from office.

  40. countrygal on June 17th, 2021 2:53 pm

    What a sad day.
    My Grandpa told me “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Mrs. Gilley made a valiant effort to get the BCC to the trough.
    I applaud Janice Gilley for her herculean efforts to affect change in our local government. She has faced difficult days, met them head on, and at the end of her shift, can hold her head up high.
    The great ones in leadership are falling by the wayside.

    A sad day indeed.

  41. Jeff on June 17th, 2021 2:50 pm

    A year of severance! Way to go Janice. Nice going commission. Taxpayers get hit again. How bout a list of her “transgressions” leading to this…

  42. Kristi Mitchell on June 17th, 2021 2:45 pm

    This is one nutty county.

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