Friday, April 28, 2006


Florida's Commission on Ethics announced two results Thursday, clearing both Republican gubernatorial candidates of breach of trust and a Bradenton GOP lawmaker of conflict of interest.

The panel dismissed complaints against Attorney General Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, as well as Crist's campaign chief of staff George LeMieux, filed by former Convergys Corporation employee Sam McDowell.

The complaints claim that Crist and LeMieux failed to investigate his allegations that Convergys mishandled sensitive personal information belonging to state employees "due to the various relationships between the Attorney General's Office, the Crist for Governor campaign, as well as powerful Tallahassee lobbyists."

The complaint against Gallagher was brought by an Arcadia woman who felt wronged over the handling of a workers' compensation claim and accused the CFO of being "influenced by rich and powerful attorneys".

According to Steve Bousquet's story in today's St. Petersburg Times, the ethics panel said that "all three complaints failed to meet the basic threshold of legal sufficiency, meaning that even if the allegations contained in the complaints were true, they would not constitute a breach of the public trust."

In another matter, the Commission cleared State Senator Michael S. Bennett (R - Bradenton) of a conflict of interest complaint, saying he did not violate any ethics rules for offering to purchase a mobile home park while sponsoring a bill which would have required local governments to help pay in relocating residents displaced when developers buy and redeveop mobile home park land. The panel said the complaint was "legally insufficient". As for Bennett's bill, it looks dead for this session.


Post a Comment

<< Home