Madeira Beach City Commissioner Nancy Oakley submitted her resignation today after the Florida Commission on Ethics fined her $5,000 for licking and groping city manager Shane Crawford in 2012.
Multiple witnesses saw face-licking incident
After listening to the testimony of seven witnesses at a December 7th hearing, state administrative judge Robert Cohen determined that the allegations made against Oakley were credible.
According to City Clerk Cheryl McGrady and others, Oakley licked Crawford up the side of his face and neck, before groping his penis and buttocks. The events took place at an outdoor City Commission meeting in November 2012.
Judge Cohen also heard testimony that Oakley tried to punch McGrady when she confronted her over her inappropriate behavior.
Another city employee who witnessed the licking incident testified that Oakley had once licked him as well.
“The act of licking a person on the face and neck is too unusual to be contrived by multiple witnesses and multiple victims,” Cohen wrote in his decision after the hearing.
Cohen concluded that Oakley’s history of licking men’s faces and a prior DUI could point to an alcohol problem.
Nancy Oakley denies allegations
Oakley’s resignation follows a unanimous ruling by the Florida Commission on Ethics in late January, based on Judge Cohen’s report.
Besides finding her guilty, the Commission fined her $5,000, recommended she be publicly censured, and also be reprimanded by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Oakley’s term as city commissioner was scheduled to end next month, so the resignation is largely symbolic. In her letter she maintained her innocence, and says she made the decision to “still the controversy.”
“It is time for us all to move on,” she wrote.
The Madeira Beach City Commission is not ready to move on quite yet, however.
A meeting is scheduled for this evening to consider the recommendation to formally censure Oakley. The proposed motion states that the commission “views this behavior as unsuitable and unbecoming of a member of its collegial body.”
When city manager Shane Crawford first came forward with allegations of sexual harassment he found the City Commission much less sympathetic to his account than it is today.
Madeira Beach commissioners are elected citywide in nonpartisan elections and serve two-year terms.