Proctor met with mysterious 'Mike Miller,' too

Jeff Burlew
Tallahassee Democrat
Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor speaks during last year's event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Another elected official — Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor — said he met last year with “Mike Miller,” a mysterious figure who may have dropped into town as part of an FBI investigation into public corruption.

Miller last year mingled and met with a number of Tallahassee officials claiming to be a developer from Nashville representing a company called Southern Pines Development. He expressed interest in the Community Redevelopment Agency and a proposal to extend its boundaries.

But as quickly as he appeared, he seemingly disappeared. Officials who met with him, including County Administrator Vince Long, County Commissioner Kristin Dozier and then-City Commission candidate Rick Minor, never heard from him after initial introductions.

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Proctor said he met with Miller and a number of other business people last year at Nick’s restaurant on South Monroe Street. Miller and several of his associates talked about their interest in building a large project on South Monroe Street that would have had shops on the ground floor and residential space on the floors above.

Others who met with Miller described the encounters as perfectly ordinary. Proctor, however, had a different take.

“It was a weird feel,” Proctor said. “And I’ve been in a thousand meetings. It had a weird feel to it because the so-called partners didn’t look like businessmen. They weren’t suit-wearing guys. They looked like blue collar guys.”

He described Miller as a young “hunk,” perhaps in his 30s, who had an air of confidence and success.

“He was a very handsome, good-looking guy,” Proctor said. “Looked like he should be a lead man in Hollywood. He was a nice guy, had a great demeanor.”

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It’s unclear whether Miller’s appearance in Tallahassee had anything to do with the FBI’s investigation into the CRA, which came to light last month after the FBI served a pair of subpoenas at City Hall involving redevelopment deals dating back to 2012. 

However, sources including an attorney representing a person of interest in the probe have told the Tallahassee Democrat that Miller and one or two others who accompanied him were actually working undercover for the FBI. 

Proctor said he met with Miller around the time of a CRA meeting in June 2016, which was about the same time the others met with him. He said he couldn’t recall exactly who was at the meeting or whether it was set up by Adam Corey or Nick Lowe, two Tallahassee lobbyists who opened doors for Miller.

Proctor couldn’t recall hearing the Southern Pines name during the meeting, but he remembers Miller being from Nashville.

“The partners were from South Carolina, Arizona, the Midwest, somewhere,” Proctor said. “They were from different places. And that was strange.”

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But Proctor said he supported Miller’s development proposal, something he said the south side sorely needs.

“This thing had about four or five floors,” Proctor said. “All kinds of shops, the kind of stuff you have on Madison and Gaines streets. It was believable because that kind of development was already occurring.”

City Commissioner Curtis Richardson said he met with two young developers last year who were generally interested in affordable housing on the south side. But he doesn’t recall much else.

“I just remember one meeting that Nick Lowe did set up for me with these guys,” Richardson said. “I remember meeting with them at The Edison. But I don’t remember the name Southern Pines or a Mike Miller at all.”

Proctor has no idea whether Miller was an undercover agent or informant. But he’s hoping he turns out to be a run-of-the-mill businessman.

“Man, I don’t know,” Proctor said. “I hope he’s a developer, and I hope he comes back. As long as he’s not KKK or KGB, he’s all right with me. There’s nothing wrong with him talking about what he wants to do and what his vision is. I could embrace that vision on a sheet of paper.”

Contact Jeff Burlew at or follow @JeffBurlew on Twitter.