Elected leaders in Jacksonville given tickets to sporting events, concerts by city

ACTION NEWS JAX INVESTIGATES: Elected leaders in Jacksonville gifted tickets to sporting events, concerts by city

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — From Jaguars games to major concerts, elected leaders in Jacksonville can get their hands on free tickets from the city.

Tickets to events held in city venues are given to the city as part of the contract with the facility.

Therefore, those tickets are the property of the city of Jacksonville.

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A city spokesperson said the tickets are distributed by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry's assistant and are available to all city employees.

City Councilman Garrett Dennis said he believes many employees don't know about the work perk.

"They should enjoy some of those perks. It shouldn't just be the elected officials," Dennis said. "Our city employees are important to us. They're the ones in the trenches that's doing the hard work for our citizens. They should enjoy some of the perks of being a city employee."

For example, the city said it gave 34 tickets to Sunday night's Ariana Grande concert at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

City documents show six tickets were left for Molly Curry, the mayor's wife. City Councilman Terrence Freeman was also given six tickets and another two tickets were gifted to City Councilwoman Ju'Coby Pittman.

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It's unclear if they went to the concert or if they gave the tickets away.

A spokesperson for the city said an employee can request as many tickets as they'd like, but there are only a certain number of tickets available.

The city said the number of tickets allotted depends on the popularity of the event.

Under Jacksonville's ethics code, public officials are prohibited from accepting gifts with a value greater than $100 from a business or person who lobbies the city.

But, if the city is gifted the tickets and then the city gives them to an elected official, it's not considered a gift.

Still, the Florida Commission on Ethics requires politicians to publicly disclose any gift received over $100, so the public can know what's going on.

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