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Citing Legal Limitations, Ethics Commission Dismisses Complaint Against Jim Landon

| June 20, 2012

Jim Landon can breathe another sigh of relief. (© FlaglerLive)

The Florida Commission on Ethics Friday dismissed complaints against Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon and Palm Coast Human Resources Director Wendy Cullen that either had misused their position for personal gain in light of a series of issues—including favoritism, bullying and a hostile work environment.

The commission has yet to rule on a third and related complaint, that one filed against Palm Coast Public Works Superintendent Tony Capela, whose management style is alleged to have triggered the issues detailed in the two other complaints.

All three complaints were filed in February by Terry Geigert, a Palm Coast employee fired from public works in 2010. She has since sought by various means—including a complaint filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, contact with news media and the ethics complaint—to take the city to task over her firing and what, in her view, led to it. She claims her whistle-blowing led to her mistreatment and eventual firing.

The city has disputed some, but by no means all, of Geigert’s accounts. The accounts focus on three issues: that Capela ran a hostile workplace, humiliating and intimidating employees; that he favored Road Tek, a contractor with the city, allowing it to use city property and city employee labor; and that Landon and Cullen protected Capela and failed to investigate complaints against him. It’s not in dispute that Capela has a close friendship with the Road Tek owner, to whom Capela sold his house. Geigert cited her own observations, employee exit interviews—numerous city employees left or were fired after Capela took over—and media reports to buttress her arguments.

The ethics commission, however, dismissed the complaints without investigating them because the complaints involved issue outside the commission’s jurisdiction, which is limited to corrupt practices where public officials or employees misuse their position to personally benefit from the abuse. Geigert’s complaints did not meet that requirement in either case, the commission ruled.

“While the allegation may indicate that [Landon] engaged in conduct detrimental to [Geigert] or others,” the commission ruled, “it does not indicate that [Landon] or anyone connected to [him] in a private capacity would have benefited from the alleged conduct, as required under the statute. Similarly, the allegation that [Landon] facilitated and defended a hostile work environment lacks specificity and does not contain facts alleging who would benefit from the hostile work environment; rather, it makes the vague, conclusory assertion that the purpose of a hostile work environment was to justify large raises for [Landon].”

Landon, in fact, while better paid than any public employee or elected official in Flagler County, has not had a raise in four years. And Cullen did conduct an investigation that in many cases confirmed Geigert’s allegations—that Capela, in Cullen’s words, had “an inappropriate management style,” that he created a stressful work environment, that he recurringly belittled, humiliated and intimidated employees—according to three public works supervisors Cullen interviewed—and that he had a habit of going on “rants.”

“Capela would yell and swear at his subordinates,” Cullen found, and do so publicly. “Mr. Capela must temper his temper and communicate calmly with his staff.”

Capela himself, in a February interview with the News-Journal, defended his behavior, saying he’d been brought in to make changes in a department Landon had described as a “joke” (where employees had been poorly led and of whom too little had been expected). Capela made changes, but at a price several employees (and ex-employees) paid, and spoke of.

“I was vocal and questioned this behavior,” Geigert wrote in her complaint. “One day in the Public Works yard Tony Capela approached me. He told me, ‘I am like God, City Hall loves me, I can do no wrong. I am like God. I can do anything I want. I can make up a lie about you to get fired, and they would believe me.’ A short time later I was transferred to the concrete crew where I have no experience. I felt that I was being set up for failure and that it wouldn’t be long before I was terminated.”

But that’s not grounds for a state ethics investigation, the commission found, without making a judgment about the veracity of the complaint: “No factual investigation preceded the review, and therefore the commission’s conclusions do not reflect on the accuracy of the allegations of the complaint.”

“Assuming for the sake of argument,” the commission findings read, that Landon’s “alleged treatment of Road Tek was inconsistent with the proper performance of his public duties, the complaint does not also indicate any private capacity nexus between [Landon] and Road Tek, or any other person or entity perhaps benefited by the treatment, that would support the ‘corruption’ required by the statute.”

The commission applied the same reasoning to the complaint against Cullen. Without judging whether Cullen did or did not fail to properly investigate workplace complaints, the commission ruled that either way, Geigert did not show that Cullen had anything personally to gain from her behavior.

“In sum, rather than indicating a possible corrupt use of public position for private gain” by Cullen, the commission concludes, “the complaint describes an alleged situation illustrative of the uncertainty surrounding possible instances of a hostile work environment and illustrative of the day-to-day handling of an office’s paperwork.”

Geigert was not aware of the commission’s ruling on Wednesday, and was disappointed that the complaints against Cullen and Landon were dismissed. “I can’t believe city council members have a blind eye to what’s going on,” Geigert said.

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61 Responses for “Citing Legal Limitations, Ethics Commission Dismisses Complaint Against Jim Landon”

  1. K says:

    Are you certain Landon has not had a raise?

    I ask because in this article dated August 12, 2010 you stated Landon was hired in 2007 at $155K and that he had raises in 2008 and 2009 that brought him up to 168,878. By my math that’s two raises in the last four years (since 2008)

    Furthermore, the News Journal public salary database reports Landon’s 2010 salary as $183,000

    So we know that since your article on Aug 12, 2010 his salary somehow went from $168,878 to $183,001. That looks like a third raise.

    And we don’t know what he made in 2011 or what he’s making in 2012. Maybe you can find out?

    • Magnolia says:

      K: Landon’s salary history should be available on the city site or call Virginia in the city office and request it.

    • Shocked, I tell you... says:

      @K: If anybody is still reading this and interested, Governor Scott is paid $130,000 I believe and he does not accept his salary. It goes back to the state treasury.

      Why is Mr. Landon paid more than most Governors? Whose idea was this?

  2. K says:

    Also, I’m curious. Does it really make sense that the City Manager of Palm Coast, a city with about 300 employees in 2010 according to the News Journal database makes just $5,000 less than the same position in Daytona Beach which had well over 600 employees at that time.

    I think the citizens of Palm Coast are getting ripped off. As a taxpayer I’m angry.

  3. anon says:

    The Daytona News Journal story of February 12, 2012 is here

    The city manager defended Capela’s performance.
    “When I came here five years ago, our streets drainage and parks maintenance were kind of the joke of the organization,” Landon said. “I hired Tony to turn the operations around and now they are a highly respected go-to department. They get a lot more done with less cost. It has been a huge turn around in a positive direction … I think the community sees it too.”
    The implication from the city manager is that as long as department heads save the city money they can act like assholes and receive carte blanche from the city manager.

    If Terry Geigert has grounds to file a civil suit and wins, maybe that will be enough to send the overpaid city manager packing. In addition, throw in the HR Director for good measure. That is if Landon’s fan club on the city council has enough fortitude. I know one councilor is president of the fan club and another is probably a member in good standing.

    @K says.
    Put the blame at the feet of the town council, they believe that his compensation of over $200,000 is justified. I say BULLCRAP

  4. George Bowman says:

    I Say FIRE them all and maybe look at the records very careful!!!

  5. Taxpayer says:

    Yet another case of getting away with bad behavior based on a technicality. Their actions may not have been illegal or even unethical according to law but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t unethical or wrong. There is a big difference between a professional and a hack job playing the part of a professional. A professional wouldn’t stand for such nonsense.

  6. palmcoaster says:

    Its the same with each government administrative position in this county of only and barely 96,000 residents. They are mostly overpaid with few exceptions and too many chiefs and very few indians. By the way Road Tek does a very poor work repaving. Just in front of my driveway the black top installed 2 years ago started craking as soon as dried…I called public works several times and still have their door hangers as memoirs with the excuses replied and no fix.

    • kenan Dickson says:

      Hey palmcoaster sorry to hear about your driveway. I can tell you you are not alone. I live in the C section and my driveway is falling apart as well. Road Tek did my driveway. A good/accurate source informed me (city hall employee) Road Tek work is not inspected. That it is estimated to be over 600 driveways were never inspected. Why?? Because they will not pass. Capela ordered the inspectors not to inspect his friend’s work Road Tek. Landon is just as guilty for condoning this. I hope they fire them all. Before we get hit with a big lawsuit.

  7. George Bowman says:

    I would say when Capela Sold his home to the Owners of Road Tek and they had a contract with the city that was a conflict of interest and unethical would all not agree ??? I say it’s time to let this guy go before we wind up with the city paying out a big lawsuit!! I SAY DUMP HIM NOW

  8. kenan Dickson says:

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist see what is going on. BULLIES !! The City big wigs are curpt. So they get off on a technicality.They should all be fired. Time to clean house!!

  9. lefty loon says:

    You all elected the city commissioners that keep these people in their jobs. If you have strong feelings about these issues you should direct your comments to your elected officials. The last election there were only 4500 votes cast in the mayor’s contest in all of Palm Coast. You all reap what you sow, the mayor thinks things are just hunky dory in la la land. Remember……. it is the loud belly aching that gets things changed. Keep it legal if you can figure out all the laws they passed in the last ten years.

  10. Anon says:

    The Daytona News Journal story of February 12, 2012 is here

    The city manager defended Capela’s performance.
    “When I came here five years ago, our streets drainage and parks maintenance were kind of the joke of the organization,” Landon said. “I hired Tony to turn the operations around and now they are a highly respected go-to department. They get a lot more done with less cost. It has been a huge turn around in a positive direction … I think the community sees it too.”

    The implication from the city manager is that as long as department heads save the city money they can act like assholes and they will receive carte blanche from the city government

    If Terry Geigert has grounds to file a civil suit and wins, maybe that will be enough to send the overpaid city manager packing. In addition, throw in the HR Director for good measure. That is if Landon’s fan club on the city council has enough fortitude. I know one councilor is president of the fan club and another is probably a member in good standing.

    @K. Lay the blame at the feet of the town council. They seem to believe that high pay equals high performance. Wall Street’s failures have debunked that as a myth. And you don’t have to look that far, just look at the city’s finances.

  11. elaygee says:

    Palm Coast is run like a small kingdom, for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.

  12. George Bowman says:

    I think its time to clean house starting with Landon and going right down the chain and take out all the bad Links Capela ETC ETC, Its time to make some changes in the city before we end up like Deltona!!!

  13. palmcoaster says:

    As a resident I have seeing overall an improvement on swells work and maybe is true that Public Works is saving us money since Capela appointed. Now I am very discontent with the work performed on re paving at least my street by Road Tek. I called on the issue to just receive inspections of the cracked pavement adjoining my driveway to no avail. Just written excuses about why is cracked and crumbling and “call if it gets worst in several months”, from the first and second time I called.

  14. K says:

    Here’s something interesting:

    According to the florida business licensing database, The owner of Road Tek LLC is Rui Ferreira. According to, a public search site, he has also lived and/or operated businesses in Palm Bay and Vero Beach Florida as well as Swansea and Somerset Mass.

    Antonio Capela also lived in Swansea and Somerset Mass.

    The plot thickens when you check public records and find that when Rui Ferreira purchased his home from Antonio Capela there was no mortgage.

    One might deduce that Tony Capela held the mortgage on that home and possibly awarded Mr. Ferreira’s company the paving contract to make sure he gets his mortgage payments. I could be wrong but this is why relationships like these are questionable.

    • Biker says:

      Funny thing K. There is also a company named Somerset Contracting that did alot of work with public works. It has an intetesting history according to Florida Divsion of Corporations. I appears that it had a previous owner named Antonio Capela. I wonder if its the same guy? There are way way too many coincidences here. City council needs to act on this.

      • anon says:

        The town manager tells the city council what are the issues for action and reaction.
        If they tolerated and condoned this type of behavior, they are not going to do much now.

        You expect the mice guard the cheese?

        • Raul Troche says:

          The problem I have seen is once again the”good Ol boy” system in this county and state. They won’t go after their own, even when they do unethical or illegal things. These people need to be held accountable. When they are not it just leads to more corruption.

  15. wiidk says:

    There is so much more to this story. K is on to something here but there is much more than that. So much more

  16. palmcoaster says:

    As usual is so much cover up around us, the local taxpayers, that once more I have to stray away from the ethical issue above, in order to complaint as a VOTER and tax payer of another ethical issue caused by the City of Palm Coast officials. This is regarding our incoming and very important Primary Elections.
    I ask the City Council and specially Mr. Meeker and Mr. McGuire that have been responsive lately, WHY? our SOE was denied a couple of lines inserted in the June July 2012 full color shinny newsletter that we are all forced to pay for, “regarding the reminder to us all of these so very important incoming Primary Elections, to Register and Vote! Sure there was plenty of room to make for such and important reminder. BUT NOT, the city had the audacity to demand that the SOE pay 10 cents fo couple of lines reminder per insertion on the news letter that we all receive in our water bill and for a total estimated cost to SOE of over $37,000 of our tax payers moneys. That will pay 3 times over for a years print. Meanwhile the city imposes on us the free advertisement of a “Design by Curley Tail Desing, Inc” without tax payers (that fund the newsletter), approval on every single edition printed!! How much is owed to the tax payers for all the free advertisement approved by current city officials to Curley Tail Design, Inc.? Please present us with documentation. Do we have to discuss this outrageous bias in court? Do we have here a second, case after Road Tek? Get rid of the free advertisement for some private business elite in our newsletter!! What gives the city the right to request that SOE, doing a public service to All Voters, has to pay to the city 10 cents per a couple of lines reminder per insertion for over $37,000 total? Shame on you PC and kudos to the City of Flagler Beach that had the reminder for the 2012 Elections inserted in all city customers utility bills at no cost to tax payers aka SOE!!
    Why also did the City of Palm Coast refuse to place “the click the button information of the 2012 elections” on the opening page of the city web site at not cost to SOE as a public service, like Flagler Beach and Bunnell proudly show now?
    Is the City of Palm Coast trying to get only again the 5% minus electorate to vote, like happened when Mayor Netts was elected when we have the largest electorate at stake here? Then the SOE is unjustified blamed for the low turn out? Why is also that the city refused to collaborate with a Fire Station allowed by Florida Law, as an additional voting precinct? I have all these questions for our Palm Coast Council, Mayor and Manager. I expect an answer as I am a Voter that feels deceived in Palm Coast.
    The information click button in for the 2012 Elections is even in the Clerk of Court Gail W. opening page. Thank you Gail you won my vote just for this! The click information button should be displayed also in our local media, News Observer, Flagler Live and News Journal as well just as an information source and public service for the voters that make possible their success in this county!.
    By the way precincts were reduced from 35 to 22, to the order of BOCC “to save money specifically demanded by Commissioner Peterson often”, wishful thinking with 11,000 more voters registered lately for the incoming elections, not much saving there as voters need so many poll workers to serve them on election days. Do not blame the SOE.
    I would also expect Commissioner McLauglin should get busier going after administrator Coffey on his budget short fall of over 5.5 million and ask him how come the County Finance Director Tennis Klinker conveniently recently resigned, his over $98,000 salary just before “the budget short fall of millions” hit the fan? Why?
    This commissioner needs to stop his unjustified attacks on our honest SOE as in the last meeting, over $4,000 budget documented espenditures. Go get the big fish Nate and stop making smoke screens for Coffey and Co.! Lets bring some justice and honesty aznd end the fraud in this place, for God’s Sake and stop pointing to sacrificial lambs!
    Hope gets posted in Flagler Live..!

    • ET says:

      Netts and Landon have to go, its White House politics in Palm Coast. None of them care about us the ones that pay there saleries. It’s all about them and what they can get away with.

  17. TBA says:

    What the hell is the problem with this city and county. The Sheriff is becoming an embarrassment to county. The City Manager and Mr Capela are an embarrassment to the city. Seems we read about these people on a weekly basis these days, and must of it is not good. Stories like this make Palm Coast look stupid and corrupt .Hey City Council, This may be the one time I would vote for “CHANGE”.

  18. Silly Me says:

    No one can blame the Ethics Commission for dismissing the complaint against Jim Landon. They have to follow the rules. But, that is a far cry from saying all is well in the City of Palm Coast executive office. I believe we have to hold our elected officials responsible for this mess. It is impossible for them not to be aware of what is going on. If they don’t know, it’s because they don’t want to know. Shame on them. I hate to think of our government office as corrupt, but until there is a solid investigation I won’t trust the powers that be in Palm Coast. When you don’t trust the folks you elect to run your City it is time to clean house and the sooner the better. When the trust is broken so is our Governement.

  19. palm coast is home says:

    I find it interesting that everyone agrees that this person, Ms Geigert is telling the truth. Could it be that she has an ax to grind and is trying to get revenge and that’s all it is? Why do we automatically assume people are guilty of every charge? Any of us could go and file a complaint about anything and anyone that doesn’t make it true! I say ask employees who are working there now how they feel?

    Doesn’t Road Tek go through a bid process to get the work? Is knowing someone a legal reason to disqualify them from a contract with the city?

    Sounds to me like they did an investigation, and we don’t know if Capela was put on notice to change. Too many facts missing to make all these assumptions.

    A fired employee with time on her hands? Is she working anywhere? Why was she fired?

    It always amazes me how quickly people believe everything they read to be fact. Remember we have Public Records Law here – why would they be stupid enough to do things that could be found out so easily? I still am not sure on this one – something doesn’t feel right about Geigert. I for one would like to see if Geigert was a good employee.

    • jj says:

      I am an employee at Public Works. What Terry Geigert is saying is all true. I am a victim of Capela tactics as well as everyone else employed here except for Capela’s posse his personal friends who are unqualified to hold there positions.

      Terry Geigert was good employee. She had the guts to stand up to Capela and was falsely fired. No employee I have spoken with says she was a bad employee.

      You mention RoadTek it is no secrete they used our yard for free storage, used city employees for free labor, used city supplies and used city equioment. NO OTHER VENDOR GETS THIS PRIVILEGE. Capela and RoadTek are stealing from the tax payers.
      PS Tony Jr I am writing this on my lunch break my time. I do not abuse city or tax payer money.

    • Magnolia says:

      @PC is home: Have you not read the comments here? I beleive you are hearing corroboration from other employees and it is about time.

  20. john davis says:

    I do not blame the Ethics Commission . I blame Mayor Netts and City council. They are aware that our town manger Jim Landon is just using Capela to make himself look good. Landon is promoting Capela to be hostile and inflict cruel treatment to the employees, for the sake of getting the job done. They are also aware that Human Relations Director Wendy Cullen has been directed by Jim Landon to cover it up. It is obvious our City Council is not going to do anything until hit with a big law suit. Which is inevitable. Its coming. I myself have had enough with this town and its corruption. My house is up for sale. Soon as its sold I am out of here. This town sucks. I know there is corruption in all towns but Palm Coast takes the prize. Not like there is jobs to be had here in Palm Coast. Thanks to our city council for not promoting big business. They rather promote a crooked town manger.

    • jimmythebull says:




  21. R Nixon says:

    This town is becomming like Bell California.


    Bell, California: The Most Corrupt Town in America (Sep 22, 2010 10:06 AM)

    Bell, California: little town, big problems. Eight city officials were arrested there yesterday, including city council members, the city manager, and the mayor, whose door was battered down by the police. The worst part? It wasn’t a surprise.[…]

    Bell somehow managed to get more and more shocking as more of its city government was investigated—it wasn’t just a few bad apples enriching themselves at the public till, it was almost all the apples. The city council members; the police chief; from top to bottom, the city paid its officials some of the highest salaries in America. It’s a good illustration of what can happen when people have the power to appoint those who will set their salaries. (We’re looking at you, corporate “compensation committees”).[…]

  22. palmcoaster says:

    @Flagler Live.
    I posted an issue here, exactly at 9.23 PM 6/21 and before Silly Me and TBA. I included the links that back up my post. May I know the reasons why was not shown?
    The whole issue can be verified with the local officials and thru public records…I would like to continuo believing, that you publish our concerns on a fair way.

    [Palmcoaster, you write more comments than anyone and are approved more than anyone else, at times to the detriment of this site because you make questionable claims we can’t always verify, and shill for or against certain political interests like James Carville on speed. We appreciate the contributions. But forgive us for sometimes needing to catch our breath. The comment you refer to is a novel. We haven’t had time to read it. It likely will be fine to approve. But please don’t feel entitled to have your comments approved on a schedule that suits you, or imply that because we’re not complying with your time zone, we’re somehow unfair. It would help if you did not add to the clang of pots and black kettles in these threads. Thanks.–FL]

  23. DRUG COAST FL 32137 says:

    I have been considering relocating one of my businesses to Flagler and my winter home to Island Estates in. After watching your small community for a while, it has been the assessment of my close advisors that Flagler County is on a downward slide. I feel sad to see that because I had a great weekend there last summer and my companion loved it there. It does appear to an outsider who may be considering relocating to Flagler County that your law enforcement officers are reactive and not proactive. That crime and corruption is almost out of control. I had extensive research done and quite frankly, you have great potential but I would not live there. Why am I telling you this? There are many tax advantages to living in Florida. But, despite the beautiful parks and beaches, the most welcome seclusion and peacefulness of your landscape, and your great golf courses, there appears to be a black cloud that scares people like me away. If you don’t end the corruption in your sheriff’s office then you will continue to decline. I will revisit your community next year. Good luck Flagler County. PS. I know there will be people that will say, “We are better off without you”…and so on….but the fact is that I would have brought a lot of money and opportunity to the working people in your county and there are many other counties that offer the security I needed to do that.

  24. K says:

    Maybe we need to hold Frank Meeker’s feet to the fire. He wants a “promotion” to county commission. We need to begin a campaign to demand that he do his job as a city council person first before he earns that promotion.

    Mr Meeker, I know you are reading this. What are you going to do?

  25. wiidk says:

    Wow Palmcoaster you really took this off subject?? I am still trying to figure out the connection to the subject at hand. I thought the discussion involved Road Tek and sweetheart contacts between the head of public works and his friends and family. I agree an outside set of eyes need to examine these relationships. I dont think the the ethics commision is the right set of eyes.It might even be prudent for the current administration to ask for an outside organization to come in and clear the air.Maybe an organization like the Public Corruption Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Jacksonvile. Perception does not always equal truth. But- where there is smoke there is usually fire. As in the case of the Real Estate deal mentioned in the article. I hope the perception is wrong, but you never know

  26. palm coast is home says:

    I think that no matter, you all will never believe anything good about PC, Landon, Council or County. Just a bunch of people with too much time on your hands.

    Again, just because someone says it … doesn’t make it true. I choose to believe only half may be accruate. I love PC and feel strongly if you don’t like it, vote others in.

    • jimmythebull says:


  27. wiidk says:

    Palm Coast is home: I am not sure how wanting honesty in our government and elected officials equivocate to disliking Palm Coast. Palm Coast is a wonderful place to live. It is truly a melting pot of diversity. It is a beautiful city. In my opinion the City manager has done a stellar job, and has seen this city through difficult times. He has improved our quality of life on so many levels. He has assembled a quality management team that I believe also have the very best interest of this city at heart. The City council, past and present, do their very best with what they are given. They are some of the most approachable elected officials that I have ever encountered. As a homeowner and Tax Payer I am very happy with Palm Coast leaders. But with that said, they are all human; they cannot be at all places at all times. Sometimes leaders may put too much trust into their managers, and sometimes those managers find ways to take advantage of that. I completely agree with Palm Coast is Home that “ just because someone says it … doesn’t make it true” But that goes to the heart of my previous post. Perception is everything. Perception is the truth to some. This perception could be put aside and disproven by having an outside organization take a look at the issues that have been brought to light. If it turns out that everything that has been bantered about is untrue, that would be wonderful, and the naysayers would be silenced. I also don’t think it is fair to person at the heart of these allegations to have these rumors circulated. And that is what they are right now, just rumors and innuendoes. So let’s disprove them.

    • Thomas Anderson says:

      I to love the city of Palm Coast thats why I’ve decided to stay here. I use to work for the city. I left under good terms, but I could not stand the way people were being humiliated and treated by Tony Capella. Terry Geigert was a steady worker who shouldn’t have been treated the way she was. She stood up and said what was on her mind. Once said she becomes a threat to them. I’m not the only one that feels this way. Its unfortunately the city council doesn’t step in to stop this treatment because its still going on. They turn a blind eye because they think for some unknown reason its a disgruntled x-employee with an axe to grind. This is far from the truth.
      Capella tells us that he has saved the city money, but he keeps using Road Tek to do jobs city workers can do. He takes city workers off jobs just to give it to Road Tek to keep them working. There’s no money saved there. Road Tek works everyday. They have been video taped with their equipment stored at Public Works, to avoid storage fees. Road Tek only moved their equipment out of Public Works once this information became public. There are photo’s of them using city equipment, city employees and city supplies. I don’t see any other contractors getting this type of treatment, and there were orders from Capella that Road Tek jobs were not to be inspected. Just check the jobs they did and see it the driveways are falling apart. They wouldn’t conform to city code. There were over 30 workers that left public works. Not because they were fired. They left because of their treatment which was humiliation,and punishment. Just read their exit interviews and you would see this is not something that was made up. Ms Geigert was the only person who had the guts to speak up. This is not a third world country. People are intimidated by Capella’s constant threats because there are no other jobs in this area. Capella knows this and feels he has the upper hand and can do whatever he wants because the employee has nowhere to go. If this type of behavior is allowed to continue families and business will not move to Palm Coast. It doesn’t take much for word to get out that the City is corrupt. I am asking the council to put a stop to this before our reputation is ruined beyond repair.

    • BKing says:

      wiidk, if you could disprove these “rumors” that would be one thing, but if you read the other posts about how Capela sold his house to Road Tek owner, and investigate for yourself how Road Tek receives 98% of all work, and verify the home improvements both parties have made, I believe you’ll start to see that the numbers indicate there’s truth to the allegations. I understand about not “judging a book by it’s cover” but if you look at the information freely available to the public you will agree that there’s something fishy going on. If you look at all of the exit interviews, that many people are not going to collaborate a lie that their reason for leaving was due to Capela’s attitude, or hostile work environment. Especially, since they left at different times, and many don’t even know one another. I for one believe there is corruption going on. So as citizens we have the choice to turn a blind eye, or vote for change.

  28. George Bowman says:

    wiidk says!! You have to be joking, let me tell you what i have been here for over 25 years and When Palm Coast was run by the county it was much cleaner and nicer than it is today, the politics since becoming a city is so out of control and corrupt that it makes people sick, capela and landon need to be replaced with officals that care about the city and the people in it not just there own gains, Like landon making all kinds of upgrades to his home since 2010 Or capela bringing in his friends to buy his home and by getting them contracts with the city to pay for the home and building a bigger home for himself and family off a corrupt deal with all of his buddis to keep them here, look who lives in capelas old home!! the owners of Road Tek.
    I think you need to do your home work!!! and look at all of the facts in this corrupt goverment in the city of Palm Coast…..

    • Magnolia says:

      Two words have caused this: Jim Landon. Our city government is costing us more than it ever has and we have more problems now than ever. This man is not worth what he is being paid and nobody is watching him. He is accountable to no one.

      Bad combination.

  29. Magicone says:

    The problem It is not just Jim Landon. It is the entire sitting city council, this council needs to be replaced. Road Tec has had their hands in the Palm Coast purse for way to long, with lousy work scattered all over Palm Coast. The city has good employees that are working underpaid; Why? Because their supervisors are all overpaid. Capela is not getting the job done, I have been having issues with Public Works for the past 5 years. My house is also up for sale, this is the most corrupt city that I have ever seen, by far. Don’t believe me just attend a city council meeting; ( Just takes one). You walk out of a meeting after sitting thru all the bullshit; so you can have your 3 minutes to say what is on your mind. You better have it concise and to the point, because Mayor Netts has a stopwatch on you and will not let you speak any longer. I smell a lawsuit, if I had an lawyer I would file one based on the evidence that I have collected in the 7 years that I have lived here. Palm Coast is a beautiful place to live if you are retired, looking for some work don’t stay in Palm Coast unless you want to run for a city council seat. The entire sitting city council needs to be replaced ASAP!!!!!

    • BKing says:

      So can we gather enough people/votes interested in replacing the board? The only way to hope to stop the corruption is to replace the board with ethical people. How would we stop Capela from giving Road Tek all of the contracts? Last I knew, there were three authorized vendors for road work, Road Tek receives something like 98% of the work. As a business owner it stinks that we can’t stop this obvious favoritism from occurring.

  30. jj says:

    I am an employee at Public Works. What Terry Geigert is saying is all true. I am a victim of Capela tactics as well as everyone else employed here except for Capela’s posse his personal friends who are unqualified to hold there positions.

    Terry Geigert was good employee. She had the guts to stand up to Capela and was falsely fired. No employee I have spoken with says she was a bad employee.

    You mention RoadTek it is no secrete they used our yard for free storage, used city employees for free labor, used city supplies and used city equioment. NO OTHER VENDOR GETS THIS PRIVILEGE. Capela and RoadTek are stealing from the tax payers.
    PS Tony Jr I am writing this on my lunch break my time. I do not abuse city or tax payer money.

  31. palm coast is home says:

    Have we heard from the other 29 or so who quit because of Capela? What did he do to Geigert? Personally I would never ever want to work for the City, it seems like you become a target and people can say anything they want, no one has to prove anything. Not enough money to get me to do that! Do all of you go to Council meetings? Do you talk to your Council member? I am always skeptical with this much negativity. How can we check some of these stated “facts”? too bad snopes isn’t available!

    • jj says:

      Hey palm coast is home, sounds like your the one with an axe to grind. Wendy Cullen the human resourse director did an investigation. She confirmed Geigert’s allegations that Caplea is hostile to his employees.

      Capela, in Cullen’s words, had “an inappropriate management style,” that he created a stressful work environment, that he recurringly belittled, humiliated and intimidated employees—according to three public works supervisors Cullen interviewed—and that he had a habit of going on “rants.”s
      Cullen also said in the News Journal Sunday Feb 12, 2012 “she would not debate claims that she FAILED to respond to employees complaints about Capela”. There’s your facts straight from the human resource director Wendy Cullen.

      • palm coast is home says:

        I don’t have an axe to grind, I just believe that forums, blogs, newspapers only tell part of the story. I would like to know more about why Geigert was fired. What proof do we have that she was a “good employee”? What did she do for the City? I’d also like to know the other 29 who have left … what are their stories?

        Sounds to me like Cullen did an investigation, and Capela must’ve been disciplined. Is firing him the only acceptable discipline? I didn’t seethe quote in the Journal is it a direct quote that “she would ot debate claims that she failed to respond”? Maybe she knows whatever she says will get twisted and turned around?

        I’m not saying Geigert didn’t have a reason to be upset. I just haven’t seen anywhere details on why she was fired. Someone on a forum saying she was a good worker isn’t good enough evidence for me. Let’s get some facts.

        If Capela really has done a good job and all I know is our City is looking awesome. I heard stories about the people there before him from people I know who used to work in public works. They tell me that the management at the time were goof offs and played more than worked and that’s why our City needed so much help. They don’t like Capela either but said that he is tough but fair. there was a very small select group who hardly worked at all but were the favorites. okay, so if he truly has done a good job, doesn’t he deserve a second chance? If that’s what they did after their investigation … good for them. I’d like to know more. I’d like to know if some of these people who seem to be out to get the City were good workers or troublemakers? Just too many misssing details for me.

        • Silly Me says:

          Are things really better at Public Works now? Not according to all of the folks that still works there. The same people still hold the whip. Everyone is right to wonder if Giegert is the problem. But it apprears there will be no investigation. I too used to work for the old management and let me tell you those who are yelling foul now were playing right along with the rest. I have many friends who still work for PCPW and they tell me there is little difference in their treatment now. They would all likely find work elsewhere, but there is no work in and around our County. I would love to see the results of an outside investigation, but that will never happen. Jim Landon is seated at the head of the table and the Commissioners are just sucking up whatever he dishes out. They don’t want to get to the bottom of this because when the smoke clears they are going to be forced to face the rubble.

    • Ken D. says:

      When I sent information to the city council members, Frank Meeker wrote me back and said they (the council) had no power in personnel matters and referred me to the city manager. This is like having the fox guard the hen house.

      • Magnolia says:

        Really, Meeker said they have no power? Then why was he trying to lobby for a new parking lot for the Portugese American Club yesterday at the council workshop?

        Today you will find his signs out front. No power? Yeah, right. Only if it comes with a contribution.

        City employees need to come to the next council meeting and present their information.

        • jj says:

          Magnolia, If you stand up you will be the next one fired. Public Works is such a hostile work place. You try to fly below the radar or you will be next. If city council would actually do something the entire dept would be present. All would happen is the employees who came would soon be fired for some trumped up bogus reason. That was made clear to all the employes on the firing of Terry Geigert. Well put Ken the fox is guarding the hen house.

        • palm coast is home says:

          public records law … ask and you shall receive!

          Meeker said he has no power in PERSONNEL issues. I think that’s in the charter. I’ve heard them say that at council meetings. Not sure how we’d get that changed, or if we’d even want to … again … more details needed.

  32. palmcoaster says:

    @Jimmythebull. If you read my post above, will find out why the current city officials did not collaborate in advertising anywhere the SOE request about the incoming “2012 Primary Elections to Register and Vote” like City of Flagler Beach and Bunnell did at no charge to us aka SOE.. Sure that only 10% of our electorate showing up top cast their ballots in PC, may well benefit the few. Then we get from them, contracts approval for Road Tek and Free Advertisement for Curley Tail Design in our taxpayers funded quarterly fancy, costly newsletter inserted in all our water bills. But denied the free public service reminder to: Register and Vote in 2012! Not even shown in the opening page of “our PC web site” as Bunnell and Flagler Beach do, since requested by SOE. Then Mrs Weeks is blamed for the low turn out, by the misinformed!

  33. I'm glad I left PC says:

    Welcome to Florida, a right to work state and boy employers use it to their advantage. Nothing will change for the common worker in Florida your screwed even under federal law you are not immune. Dump Landon and Capela, people of Palm Coast you are getting screwed by these slick willy politicians. I am glad I left, I have a better paying job, union protection and great benefits. People of Palm Coast time to revolt and unite and throw these assholes out of office. Palm Coast is not like it was 5 years ago, welcome to the suburban ghetto!!!!!! It was a great city and could be once again with the right vision.. Good luck voters of palm coast your city is always with me.

  34. PJ says:

    After reading this story you have to say to yourself, Huh or Duh!

    Huh if you remeber how the Waste Pro contract was hahdled?

    Duh if you think this is not just the way Landon & company does business?

    Bad board and an even worse manager when you have to run your business like mob…….through hostel acts and games.

  35. Karma says:

    As a former employee of the Public Works Department for many years, I would concur with must of what Ms Geigart states in the story. However, I believe the quality of work performed by Road Tek was very good. I have nothing good to say about Mr. Capela or Ms Cullen, so I will leave it at that.

    • palm coast is home says:

      I want to hear the excuse why they didn’t do the advertising. Does anyone know the details?? I agree they should have. Also, what did Miss Geigert state in her story, I’ve never heard that. BUT I also want to know why she was fired!!!

  36. harry says:

    Biker you are spot on Somerset Contracting owner is Capela’s brother-inlaw.

  37. Silly Me says:

    Looks like it ain’t over till the fat lady sings. I hear her tuning up.

  38. jj says:

    Silly me you are so correct. The fat lady is now backed by quite an Orchestra.Can not wait to hear her sing. Loud and clear and the grand finally! PW employees all have front row seats for there support in the billing of the Orchestra. I am sure it will be a standing ovation!!!

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