Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Commissioner Apologizes Over Ethics Issue

Possible Fine Against Commissioner?
MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- At this week's Glades County Commission meeting, Vice-Commissioner Donna Storter Long explained her embarrassment over allegations of ethic violations that are now before the state Commission on Ethics after complaints were made.

The alleged violation issue was raised when Storter ranked and voted last September in the Request For Quote process for an architect to design the Emergency Operations Center, unaware that voting for the architect was a violation for her because her son’s employer may have been working with the architect.

Storter said she and County Attorney Pringle had discussed on Friday the “probable cause” hearing by the Commission on Ethics and the two complaints, one from Mr. Rutherford, and one filed for the Board by Mr. Pringle, had been combined into one. 

She said the investigation had been done, the Attorney General’s office was notified and their Advocate recommended to the Commission on Ethics that they find that there was “probable cause” that a violation of the Florida statute had occurred, which the Commission voted to accept. 

Vice Chairman Storter stated, “This is very embarrassing to me as you know, very hard to deal with. The next step is the Commission on Ethics turns it over to the Department of Administrative Hearings.”

She said she was told that prior to the scheduling of a hearing, she could expect an offer of a negotiated settlement from the Attorney General Advocate; she said she did not know what that would be, but probably a fine which could be up to $10,000 each for the ranking and voting. She again apologized to the Board for her lack of knowledge when this happened and stated she was ready to put it behind her.

Mr. Pringle told the board he had not planned to mention it as it has not yet been released as public record. Storter told the Board she would prefer to tell them herself rather than for them to hear it from someone Mr. Pringle stated she had described the next steps in the process, the complaint filed for an administrative hearing or a proposed settlement agreement.

She thanked Mr. Pringle for calling the Attorney General Advocate representing the County and informing the AGA that he expected and did not want any action on the matter, that it had been taken care of, so “no harm no foul”.

(The above was from Commissioner Storter's published notes.)

No comments:

Post a Comment