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PRESS RELEASE - Florida Commission on Ethics

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Linda McKee Robison
Chair
Stanley M. Weston
Vice Chair
Michelle Anchors
Matthew F. Carlucci
Michael Cox
I. Martin Ford
Tom Freeman
Wiley Horton
Susan Horovitz Maurer
Virlindia Doss
Executive Director
StateofFlorida
COMMISSION ON ETHICS
P.O. Drawer 15709
Tallahassee, Florida 32317-5709
325 John Knox Road
Building E, Suite 200
Tallahassee, Florida 32303
C. Christopher Anderson, III
General Counsel/
Deputy Executive Director
(850) 488-7864 Phone
(850) 488-3077 (FAX)
www.ethics.state.fl.us
"A Public Office is a Public Trust"
______________________________________________________________________
PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
January 28, 2015
CONTACT PERSON:
Virlindia Doss or
Kerrie J. Stillman
850.488.7864
May be accessed on the Internet at www.ethics.state.fl.us
TALLAHASSEE—January 28, 2015— Meeting in Tallahassee on January 23rd in
closed session, the Florida Commission on Ethics took action on 28 complaints, Vice
Chair Stanley Weston announced today.
The Commission found probable cause to believe that H. MARLENE O’TOOLE,
Florida Representative for District 33, failed to disclose a voting conflict when she voted
on the 2013 General Appropriations Act that included a specific appropriation for her
employer. Probable cause also was found to believe that she failed to follow disclosure
requirements when she voted regarding the disbursement of a settlement fund that
inured to the special private gain of her employer.
No probable cause was found to believe that JOHN SWEENEY, former
Hernando County School Board member, misused his position to benefit his son. No
State of Florida Commission on Ethics 2
Press Release
January 28, 2015
probable cause also was found to believe that he used inside information, obtained
because of his position, in an effort to benefit his son.
The Commission found probable cause to believe that JOHNATHAN
DAUGHERTY, Atlantic Beach City Commissioner, attempted to use his position to
receive preferential treatment during traffic stops with Atlantic Beach police officers.
However, the Commission found no probable cause to believe that he misused his
position to avoid the consequences of failing to register his vehicles and switching
license plates between vehicles he owns.
No probable cause was found to believe that Eatonville Town Councilmember
ALVIN MOORE misused his position to push the agenda of a campaign contributors.
The Commission also found no probable cause to believe that Mr. Moore solicited or
accepted a thing of value with the understanding that his vote or actions would be
influenced. No probable cause also was found on an allegation that he accepted a thing
of value meant to influence his vote or actions.
The Commission also considered a complaint filed against Representative DANE
EAGLE. No probable cause was found to believe that he failed to follow voting conflict
disclosure requirements when he voted on HB593 which affected the Florida Home
Builder’s Association, but which didn't affect his employer, the Lee Building Industry
Association.
The Commission dismissed the following complaints for lack of legal sufficiency:
ERIC HAINES, Chief Deputy of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office; WILLIAM
SHEARON, Bradenton Beach Mayor; MICHAEL BLACKBURN, Inspector General of the
Florida Department of Education; SEAN SCHELLER, Lantana Police Chief; JOE
State of Florida Commission on Ethics 3
Press Release
January 28, 2015
FORTE, Deputy County Manager for Seminole County; ANDREW NEFF, Seminole
County Environmental District Manager; LEE RICCI, Seminole County Human
Resources Manager; WILLIAM “JOHNNY” EDWARDS, Seminole County Solid Waste
Division Manager; LINDA WILLIAMS, Northeast Florida State Hospital Assistant
Administrator; TERRANCE O’NEIL, Stuart Development Director; MELINDA MIGUEL,
State of Florida Chief Inspector General; KIM ROMEISER, Investigator for the Chief
Inspector General’s Office; SHARMIN HIBBERT, Manager in the Allied Health Section
in the Florida Department of Health; DAVID W. MINER, Manatee County School Board
Member; SHANE ASHLEY MANSHIP, Assistant Public Defender in Ft. Pierce;
MICHAEL LINN, Assistant State Attorney in Stuart ; JOHN HETHERINGTON, Assistant
Public Defender in Martin County; LINDA KAY BALDREE, Assistant State Attorney in
Ft. Pierce; CAROLYN TIMMANN, Martin County Clerk of Courts; CHRISTOPHER
ANTHONY GASTON, Assistant State Attorney in Martin County; PATRICK GILLEN,
Assistant State Attorney in Martin County; JOHN JARED LITHGOW, Assistant Public
Defender in Martin County; and STEVE WHIDDEN, Hendry County Sheriff.
The Commission's reviews for legal sufficiency are limited to questions of
jurisdiction and determinations as to whether the contents of the complaint are
adequate to allege a violation of the Code of Ethics or other laws within its jurisdiction.
As no factual investigation precedes the reviews, the Commission's conclusions do not
reflect on the accuracy of the allegations made in these complaints.
PUBLIC SESSION
In public session, the Commission considered a Joint Stipulation between the
Commission Advocate and BARBARA SUE REVELS, Flagler County Commissioner.
State of Florida Commission on Ethics 4
Press Release
January 28, 2015
According to the settlement agreement, Ms. Revels violated the voting conflict statute
by voting in May 2013 on a measure that brought special private gain or loss to her
business associates. A second voting conflict violation occurred in August 2013 when
she voted on another measure that caused special private gain or loss to her business
associates. No probable cause was found to believe that she accepted a thing of value
intended to influence her vote, and that allegation was dismissed. A civil penalty
totaling $2,500 will be recommended for imposition by the Governor.
The Florida Commission on Ethics is an independent nine-member commission
formed in 1974 to review complaints filed under the statutory Code of Ethics and to
answer questions from public officials about potential conflicts of interest through its
issuance of advisory opinions.
If the Ethics Commission believes a violation of the law may have occurred, it may
decide to hold a public hearing. If it concludes a violation has been committed, it may
recommend civil penalties that include removal from office or employment and fines up to
$10,000 per violation.
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