Mayor could be violating city charter

10:27 PM, Jun 7, 2005   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Rose Ferlita, Tampa City Council Member: "I don't think you change the rules to accommodate one or two department heads."

But Tampa City Council Member Rose Ferlita says that is exactly what Mayor Pam Iorio is doing when it comes to two department heads: Sara Lang and John Moors. 

Although the city charter says department heads are required to live in Tampa, Moors the $137,000 convention director and Lang the $120,000 human resources director don't.

Rose Ferlita, Tampa City Council Member: "Everybody follows the rules otherwise you have all kinds of complications."

The Mayor's Chief of Staff, Darryl Smith admits all of the Department heads are required to live in the city, but he says because human resources isn't mentioned in the charter it could be exempt. 

Darryl Smith, Mayor's Chief of Staff: "I think if you check with the city attorney staff, it is very clear in their view there are grounds for us to term that position as one not requiring residency." 

While Lang is listed on the city organizational chart as human resources director and on the same level as other department heads who are required to live in the city, Smith says there's another reason she's not required to live here. 

That's because she's not actually human resources director. She is the acting H.R. director, a position she's held since 1995. Ten years as acting director.

Rose Ferlita, Tampa City Council Member: "The process is that the charter says if you're a department head you have to live in the city. Sara Lang has had ample opportunity to do that and I think it sends a bad message." 

And that message is coming from a Mayor who promised always to play by the rules and not play favorites.

Mike Deeson ,TampaBays 10 News.

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