Former metropolis sports and amusement chief insulted workers, falsified time, investigation finds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ryan Ali, the previous head of Jacksonville’s Sports activities and Entertainment division, regularly criticized his employees’ appearances, employed metropolis-owned tools for own use and produced a hostile do the job setting through intimidation, in accordance to a report released Monday by the Workplace of Inspector General (OIG).

Ali, who held that place in particular activities for extra than a 12 months, was placed on compensated administrative go away in 2020 soon after extra than 10 issues were being submitted against him starting off in 2019. He resigned in December of 2020 and, according to his LinkedIn site, went on to perform as the Director of Community Relations and Philanthropy at Ackerman Most cancers Centre.

The OIG investigated four essential allegations against Ali and substantiated all four, like a violation of the city’s procurement code, falsification of time and attendance data and misuse of COJ sources.


Previous personnel advised investigators Ali typically yelled at personnel, slammed doors and qualified staff who were significantly less possible to struggle back. He also frequently commented on the staff’s bodily appearances and created derogatory remarks, according to the investigation.

Workers provided the following illustrations to investigators:

  • Ali explained to a DSE worker she essential to get her hair finished.

  • Ali instructed a DSE employee their hair appeared like they could audition for the Lion King movie.

  • One staff offered their dresses on the web since Ali commented they appeared like his grandmother’s curtains.

  • Ali provided to convey an staff a wig so their hair would not glimpse lousy.

On many instances, staff members reported it witnessed Ali yell and direct profanity at a single personnel, causing them to cry.

The investigation also observed that Ali was in New Orleans when he claimed to be at UNF for a conference and that Ali had made use of some metropolis-owned lights for a birthday bash.

In accordance to a evaluation of DSE staff information, in excess of a span of a lot more than 14 months for the duration of the time Ali oversaw the office, 17 staff departed, 13 personnel resigned, two staff members transferred to different COJ departments, one DSE personnel was terminated (simply because he walked off the work) and just one personnel retired.


Mayor Lenny Curry issued a statement Monday night to Information4JAX:

Information4JAX contacted Ali by text message and he referred us to his attorney. His legal professional mentioned his statement is integrated in the report, which phone calls into question the validity of the “mishandled” investigation.

Legal professional James Poindexter went on to imply the problems “were section of a marketing campaign to have my shopper eradicated from his place.”

“That exertion appears to have been triggered by staff resistance to my consumers endeavours to make improvements to the efficiencies of the section,” he ongoing. “Unfortunately, Mr. Ali satisfied good resistance he attempted to challenge the position quo, and it appears that some on his team labored jointly to assure that my consumer would no more time be in a position to put into practice these adjustments.”

He claimed several of the cases specific in the report have been “taken out of context.”

Browse the complete report here, and Poindexter’s full response to the allegations beginning on webpage 66.


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