As first reported by the Tallahassee Democrat, indicted former City Commissioner Scott Maddox’s well connected firm, Wheeler Emergency Management Consulting (Wheeler EMC) is still reeling in thousands of city dollars from the 2018 and 2019 hurricane cycle.
Jason Wheeler, who is a former head of the DEM runs Wheeler Emergency Management Consulting (Wheeler EMC). Wheeler EMC is the cities designated FEMA reimbursement consultants, who have the job of making sure that the city’s expenses in hurricane recovery are properly accounted for.
-TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2016.
Branch spent years working for Governance Services, Inc., a consulting firm owned by close Maddox friend Paige Carter-Smith, executive director of the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority.
As the Tallahassee Democrat reported on September 16th, 2017 , long time Maddox associate, Jeremy Branch was hired by the Wheeler as a subcontractor, and continues to be paid by Wheeler for his work.
The FEMA PA contract was first issued to Wheeler on December 14th, 2016, for a three year term. Following the Democrat’s reporting, the City brought back an update on the Wheeler contract on September 27th, 2017.
“Director Moskowitz has made it clear to any vendors looking to do business with the agency that any contracts or subcontracts tied to Capital Engineering will not be accepted”-DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SPOKESWOMAN LAUREN ENGEL
In February of 2019, Arek Sarkissian with POLITICO Florida reports that Florida Department of Emergency Management has issued a “stop work order” for all contracts associated with Wheeler, and that no contract award will be considered if they use Wheeler as a subcontractor.
It is unclear if the City will continue to use Wheeler EMC as their FEMA reimbursement vendor. However, City checkbook transactions, last updated on January 14th, 2019, show that Wheeler EMC is being paid by the City up to $50,000 per month as recently as December 2018.