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Posts tagged as: corruption

Bunnell Eliminates 40% Of Police Department as Part of Wider Cost-Cuts and Lay-Offs

| July 29, 2014

Seeking to cut an $800,000 deficit that represents a fifth of the city’s budget, the Bunnell City Commission Monday cut its commission salaries by 10 percent, eliminated its grants department and laid off staff that have been mainstays of the Bunnell administration and police department over the years.

Flagler County Argues Charge Against Commissioner Revels Belongs at Ethics Commission, Not in Court

| July 9, 2014

County Attorney Al Hadeed countered a lawsuit alleging ethical improprieties by Commissioner Barbara Revels in last summer’s purchase of the old Memorial Hospital by claiming that the group suing has no standing in circuit court, but can take its case to the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Lawsuit and Ethics Charge Cite Flagler Commissioner Revels Ties to Business Associate in County’s Old Hospital Buy

| July 1, 2014

A group calling itself the Flagler Palm Coast Watchdogs filed a lawsuit against Flagler County, seeking to stop construction on the old Memorial Hospital property slated to be the sheriff’s headquarters, and alleging that Commissioner Barbara Revels did not disclose owning shares in the bank run by one of the men who sold the hospital to the county for $1.23 million last August.

Don’t Bother Me. I’m at the World Cup.

| June 14, 2014

The World Cup is as close as it comes to a religious experience for many of us–despite the sport’s corruption, match fixing scandals and ubiquitous racism among fans, in Europe especially. But it’s not for nothing that they call i the Beautiful Game. Try it. You might be reborn.

Bunnell Cop Arrested Over Computer Porn Conducted Unauthorized Background Searches on City Commissioners

| May 23, 2014

the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is still investigating the case, uncovered evidence that Michael Stavris conducted unauthorized background checks on three sitting city commissioners: Bill Baxley, John Rogers and Elbert Tucker. Stavris may face no penalty for doing so, for lack of a policy in Bunnell.

Corruption Theorem: Money as Speech and the Supreme Court’s Death Blow to Democracy

| April 7, 2014

We’ve come a long way from the days of Lawton Chiles, who won his election for governor despite limiting contributions to $10 a pop. There is no longer any bidding limit on the vast auction block American politics has become since, writes Martin Dyckman.

Enterprise Florida’s Version of Economic Development: Lavish Perks at Steakhouses, Hotels and Yankee Stadium

| March 3, 2014

Enterprise Florida, The state’s economic development agency, is under fire again. This time, a recent report highlighted lavish spending by its staff, which prompted a watchdog group to ask the governor to launch an investigation.

Lawmaker Files Bill Favoring Trauma Centers Run by HCA, Gov. Scott’s Former Company

| February 27, 2014

The proposal, opposed by numerous Florida hospitals, would help the HCA health-care chain keep trauma centers open and could short-circuit a debate about how the Florida Department of Health determines where new trauma centers should be allowed to open.

Rick Scott Puts State Employees to Work On Re-Election Campaigning Veiled as “Outreach”

| December 6, 2013

On-the-clock state employees from a number of agencies have been splitting shifts since Monday to call businesses and use talking points that are indistinguishable from the language of campaign ads to help Rick Scott’s re-election.

Rick Scott’s $11,370-Worth of “Congratulations” Letters Blur Line Between Applause and Electioneering

| November 29, 2013

Scott views the missives as a means to applaud individuals and to promote Florida. His critics say some of the messages include language that deviates into campaign talking points. Don’t expect the letter-writing campaign to slow or the questionable language to disappear from such messages.

Tallahassee For Sale: Six Lobbying Firms Collect More Than $1 Million Each

| August 18, 2013

Bolstered by huge paydays from some clients, at least six lobbying firms, including the Southern Strategy Group, collected $1 million or more in legislative lobbying fees between April 1 and June 30.

Ethics Commission Clears Palm Coast’s Tony Capela of Corruption or Favoritism in City Work

| July 31, 2013

Ex-employee Terry Geigert had made six allegations against Tony Capella, Palm Coast’s public works superintendent, charging he favored RoadTek, a friend’s company, in no-bid contracts, sold his house for cash to the company owner, and fired Geigert in retaliation for whistleblowing.

Florida Education Commissioner Defends Grade Inflation as Bush Rallies to His Side

| July 30, 2013

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Bennett said it was “absurd” to believe he inflated grades to help a donor because of her political contributions to Bennett, but criticism of Florida’s education commissioner persisted.

Florida Education Commissioner Bennett Changed School Grading System in Indiana to Benefit a Donor

| July 29, 2013

Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and his then-Indiana employees “frantically overhauled” Indiana’s school-grading system last year (just as Florida’s was last year and this year) when it looked like one of his political contributors’ schools might get a “C,” the Associated Press reported.

State Attorney Files Obstruction Charge Against Robert Pace, Flagler Beach’s Acting Fire Chief

| July 25, 2013

The State Attorney’s Office has filed an obstruction of justice charge against Bobby Pace, the acting fire chief in Flagler Beach, following an investigation into charges that Pace falsified the records of a probationer and destroyed evidence earlier this year.

How Bank of America Regularly Lied to Homeowners and Rewarded Foreclosures

| June 16, 2013

Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.

Troopergate: Florida Highway Patrol Was Wrong to Fire Charles Swindle Over Bogus Ticket

| June 10, 2013

The Florida Highway Patrol shouldn’t have fired trooper Charles Swindle, who followed “the agency’s unwritten policy of professional courtesy” toward state legislators, a hearing officer ruled Monday. But that doesn’t mean the ex-trooper was right when issuing less expensive tickets last November to the lawmakers.

FHP Director Julie Jones Is Shocked, Shocked to Hear of Troopers Issuing Fake Tickets

| June 4, 2013

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Julie Jones said she expects the agency will look into allegations of bogus tickets, described last week by a handful of former and current troopers during an administrative hearing on the firing of former FHP Trooper Charles Swindle.

The IRS’ Nonprofit Dysfunctions: A Problem Deeper Than Conservative Targeting

| May 19, 2013

The IRS division responsible for flagging Tea Party groups has long been an agency afterthought, beset by mismanagement, financial constraints and an unwillingness to spell out just what it expects from social welfare nonprofits, former officials and experts say.

President Barack Aux Scandals

| May 17, 2013

The Benghazi story is a bogus scandal. IRS targeting of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s hacking of reporters’ phones is not. The Obama presidency is getting derailed, and that’s without going down the path of even more serious scandals Washington and the electorate are accepting as business as usual.

Speculative Bust: How Widening Old Kings Road Left Palm Coast on Hook for $6.7 Million

| May 16, 2013

Palm Coast borrowed millions from its own utility fund to complete the Old Kings Road widening on the assumption that the economy would pick up and enable the city to re-finance with bonds. That never happened. Now the city is looking to recoup its money from property owners along the road, who’d agreed to a special taxing district but with optimistic assumptions of their own that never panned out.

An Ethics Bill Negotiated in Secret Heads to Gov. Scott, Preserving Lobbying Perks

| April 24, 2013

The ethics bill approved by the Florida House dropped a two-year prohibition on legislators taking quasi-lobbying jobs with firms trying to influence the Legislature; it would increase the amount that each contributor can give to candidates during an election, and unlimited donations could go to political committees.

Florida Ethics Commissioner to Legislature: Close Loopholes in Reform Bill

| March 14, 2013

Ethics Commissioner Matt Carlucci says an ethics reform bill adds teeth to previously weak enforcement, but would also open a loophole that would give politicians greater immunity from prosecution while increasing the costs of ethics cases.

Sunshine Week: Improving State Legislatures’ Transparency

| March 12, 2013

Think about the American Legislative Exchange Council’s secret lobbying in favor of “Stand Your Ground” legislation to at least 15 states. Lobbyists were backed by corporate special interests – a fact the public was left in the dark about. Additionally, there was little way to easily track how this law was passed in Florida. That’s just one example of the kind of copycat legislation peddled to state legislatures.

Picking on Poorer Parents, Florida Targets Early-Learning “Fraud” That Doesn’t Exist

| February 26, 2013

Allegations of “potential” fraud in Florida’s early learning programs have served as the basis for repeated attempts at a legislative cure – including this year – but are melting away under scrutiny by investigators.

Pork’s Other End: Lobbying of Florida Legislature Tops $120 Million in 2012

| February 18, 2013

Lobbyists collected at least $120 million to represent businesses and other clients before the Florida Legislature in 2012, with companies such as AT&T and the gambling industry spending heavily

Gov. Scott Facing Mounting Questions From His Own Party Over Jobs Agenda, and Expenses

| February 13, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott’s aggressive economic development effort is getting more legislative pushback as budget committees in both chambers questioned the direction, expense and oversight of the governor’s “jobs, jobs, jobs” agenda.

Florida’s Ex-GOP Chairman Jim Greer Pleads Guilty to Theft and Money Laundering, Ending Circus

| February 11, 2013

The guilty plea set off a round of political finger-pointing in Tallahassee, with Republicans laying the blame for the debacle on Crist, a newly-minted Democrat who could challenge current GOP Gov. Rick Scott in 2014. Democrats, meanwhile, tried to tag the RPOF with Greer’s ethical baggage.

Integrity Report Critical of Enterprise Florida as an Obstacle to Job Creation Is Itself Tainted

| February 6, 2013

Questionable bonuses, conflicts of interest and a ‘pay to play’ mentality is hampering taxpayer driven economic development efforts, according to a study conducted by Integrity Florida and paid for by Americans for Prosperity/Florida, a conservative advocacy group funded in large part by the Koch brothers.

Flagler Sheriff’s Employee Arrested Over Leak to Her Son, Who Was Being Investigated

| January 25, 2013

Elizabeth Cretella faces a third-degree felony charge that she leaked information of an active investigation of sex crime allegations to her son–Robert Allen–before he was to be questioned in connection with the allegations.

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