Previous metropolis sports activities and enjoyment main insulted staff members, falsified time, investigation finds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ryan Ali, the former head of Jacksonville’s Sporting activities and Leisure division, frequently criticized his employees’ appearances, made use of town-owned gear for personalized use and developed a hostile do the job atmosphere via intimidation, according to a report produced Monday by the Office of Inspector Common (OIG).

Ali, who held that placement in exclusive occasions for a lot more than a 12 months, was put on paid administrative go away in 2020 soon after a lot more than 10 grievances have been submitted in opposition to him beginning in 2019. He resigned in December of 2020 and, in accordance to his LinkedIn web page, went on to get the job done as the Director of Neighborhood Relations and Philanthropy at Ackerman Cancer Center.

The OIG investigated 4 key allegations in opposition to Ali and substantiated all 4, including a violation of the city’s procurement code, falsification of time and attendance data and misuse of COJ sources.


Previous workers informed investigators Ali frequently yelled at staff members, slammed doors and focused employees who ended up much less likely to struggle back. He also consistently commented on the staff’s physical appearances and made derogatory remarks, in accordance to the investigation.

Personnel provided the following illustrations to investigators:

  • Ali explained to a DSE employee she wanted to get her hair performed.

  • Ali advised a DSE staff their hair seemed like they could audition for the Lion King motion picture.

  • One employee offered their clothing on the net for the reason that Ali commented they seemed like his grandmother’s curtains.

  • Ali made available to carry an employee a wig so their hair would not look poor.

On many occasions, team reported it witnessed Ali yell and immediate profanity at 1 employee, leading to them to cry.

The investigation also located that Ali was in New Orleans when he claimed to be at UNF for a convention and that Ali had utilized some metropolis-owned lights for a birthday bash.

According to a evaluation of DSE staff records, more than a span of additional than 14 months in the course of the time Ali oversaw the department, 17 workers departed, 13 employees resigned, two personnel transferred to diverse COJ departments, 1 DSE worker was terminated (due to the fact he walked off the work) and a person staff retired.


Mayor Lenny Curry issued a statement Monday evening to Information4JAX:

News4JAX contacted Ali by text concept and he referred us to his lawyer. His legal professional stated his statement is involved in the report, which calls into concern the validity of the “mishandled” investigation.

Lawyer James Poindexter went on to indicate the grievances “were component of a campaign to have my shopper removed from his position.”

“That effort appears to have been triggered by staff resistance to my clients efforts to enhance the efficiencies of the division,” he ongoing. “Unfortunately, Mr. Ali achieved terrific resistance he tried to obstacle the status quo, and it appears that some on his workforce worked collectively to guarantee that my shopper would no extended be in a position to implement these variations.”

He stated various of the predicaments specific in the report had been “taken out of context.”

Examine the comprehensive report here, and Poindexter’s whole reaction to the allegations starting on web page 66.


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By Indana