“Oh, what a tangled web we weave / When first we practice to deceive!”
By TOM McLAUGHLIN
315-4435 | @TomMnwfdn
Posted Oct. 26, 2015 at 6:05 PM
Updated Oct 26, 2015 at 6:07 PM
Destin City Manager Greg Kisela, who last week turned City Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell in to the State Attorney’s Office for “irregularities in the city credit card” this week finds himself under the same scrutiny.
A citizen’s public records’ request turned up a check written by Kisela to reimburse the city for baseball tickets he bought in April using his own municipal credit card.
Ramswell said Kisela had done precisely the same thing she believes he turned her in for.
Kisela had handed Ramswell a letter at last week’s city council meeting that informed her he had requested the State Attorney’s Office look into use of the city card.
The State Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday its decision to investigate Ramswell for possible “misappropriation of funds.”
Bill Bishop, the chief assistant state attorney for Okaloosa County, said late Monday afternoon no request to investigate Kisela had reached him.
Destin Mayor Mel Ponder confirmed, however, that the city would turn Kisela’s case over to the First Judicial Circuit’s State Attorney’s Office.
“We’re making sure that Greg also should submit his situation to the State Attorney’s Office,” Ponder said. “Both cases will be reviewed and acted on accordingly.”
Following the revelation that Kisela had also reimbursed the city for a personal expense, Ramswell repeated her allegation that the city manager had targeted her specifically because she objected to comprehensive plan changes he wanted made.
Ramswell said hotel expenses had mistakenly been placed on her city card during a recent personal trip to Houston.
She said she’d used the city card for personal items while traveling in the past and written a check to cover them upon her return.
“If somebody said you can’t do it this way or this is wrong or this is not a good idea I wouldn’t have done it,” Ramswell said Friday.
Kisela sent an email to Ponder and the rest of the Destin City Council Sunday to explain his actions. He was out of town Monday and could not be reached for comment.
His email was sent in response to a missive sent to the city from Barbara Comes, who identifies herself as a soon-to-be Destin resident.
Comes lambasted Kisela for going after Ramswell when he is guilty of the same offense.
“This obvious action of trying to smear the reputation of a council person who has listened and understood what was happening is a downright dirty act,” Comes’ email said.
In his email, Kisela offered an explanation for his reimbursement to the city.
“In the spring of this year while on vacation to attend my uncle’s funeral in South Florida I inadvertently used my city issued credit card to attend a spring training baseball game,” it said. “I immediately provided the city a check upon my return.”