While nepotism in politics is sadly nothing new, most agree that it’s time to stop rewarding the children of politicians. But nepotism becomes far more serious when there is an obvious quid pro quo involved. Newly uncovered information related to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s son’s employment and the City of Orlando deal with the Central Florida Sports Commission is leading to more allegations of wrongdoing and favoritism in City Hall.
In addition to the blatant political cronyism displayed in Dyer’s hiring of unqualified Craig Borkon with the Community Sports Venues, it appears nepotism is also part of Dyer’s playbook of power with his son, Trey Dyer, right in the middle of it all. Nepotism is “the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.”
According to Trey Dyer’s LinkedIn profile, he is currently the “Marketing and Event Coordinator” for the Central Florida Sports Commission and began working there in April 2013. Prior to his work at the CFSC, Trey Dyer worked covering social media for the Citrus Bowl games with Florida Citrus Sports. The pattern is beginning to paint a picture that Mayor Dyer’s reason for investing heavily in sports is because it is his newest way to enrich and benefit his family and friends.
While Trey Dyer’s position is not the most glamorous job based on the description, there’s also an interesting connection to his hiring and a sweetheart corporate welfare deal that Dyer gave the Central Florida Sports Commission around the same time his son was given the position. Last July, West Orlando News broke news about how Mayor Dyer pushed through $1/year rent for the Central Florida Sports Commission for office space inside the half billion dollar Amway Center. The Sports Commission got a five-year, five dollar deal at the same time Mayor Dyer’s son was hired as a full-time staffer.
It is unusual that Trey Dyer is also the only staffer with the Central Florida Sports Commission who is not listed on the official CFSC staff page (though he is photographed with his father and the others in a staff photo on the page). It appears that both the City and the CFSC want to keep Trey Dyer’s employment under the radar because of the potential allegations of nepotism and quid pro quo.
The potential corruption with the Central Florida Sports Commission is clear. As Dyer was moving forward with resources and public funds for sports investments, his son was directly employed with an agency receiving and benefiting from those resources. In fact, the Central Florida Sports Commission receives millions of public dollars to fund their operations and constantly lobbies City and County government for more funds. They even got another $2.5 million in the recent controversial Venues Agreement which is funding new Citrus Bowl renovations and an MLS soccer stadium.
This is another example of Buddy Dyer’s attitude towards governing and it raises important questions about where our community is headed with all this. It’s time to nip Mayor Dyer’s nepotism in the bud.