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Trey Corbett, Former Elections Supervisor Candidate, Cleared of Alleged Ethics Violation

| February 1, 2013

Trey Corbett during a political forum last fall. (© FlaglerLive)

Trey Corbett during a political forum last fall. (© FlaglerLive)

In a footnote to one of the most contentious local elections of 2012, Trey Corbett, a candidate for Flagler County Supervisor of Elections, was cleared of alleged ethics violations by the Florida Commission on Ethics, the commission announced earlier this week.

The issue stemmed from a complaint filed by Joan Affatado, an Ormond Beach resident and occasional gadfly in Flagler County politics, and an ally of Kimberle Weeks, the elections supervisor who eventually won reelection. Affatado alleged that Corbett had listed a home that no longer belonged to him on his financial disclosure form (which all candidates are required to file), and that Corbett had failed to disclose rent and medical bills as liabilities, and so had allegedly not accurately disclosed his net worth.

The allegations were sufficient to warrant an investigation, but Corbett gave investigators the same explanations he gave publicly during the campaign–that his ex-wife had been unable to re-finance the house he had co-owned with her, because the house was financially upside down (meaning the $320,000 owed on it was more than the $184,500 it was worth), and so she was unable to remove Corbett’s name from the mortgage. The commission accepted the explanation, as it did Corbett’s explanation of why there may have appeared to be discrepancies about the apartment where he’d lived after moving out, “to live in different locations, such as a friend’s house, in which he paid little or no rent with no written lease or rent agreement,” according to the commission’s report of the investigation.

An advocate for the ethics commission submitted her findings and recommendation (against probable cause of any violations) to the commission on Dec. 21. The commission, meeting on Tallahassee on Jan. 25, ratified the findings, which were then announced publicly on Jan. 30. The commission at the same meeting ratified the settlement agreement with former Sheriff Don Fleming, who was found to have violated Florida’s gift law by failing to disclose his gift membership to the Hammock Beach Resort. But those details had been previously and extensively reported. Fleming was fined $500 and required to reimburse the club $3,800.

Corbett, who’d won a four-way Republican primary, weathered various issues and questions during his campaign against Weeks, with Weeks frequently alluding to those issues. Weeks won re-election with 59 percent of the vote.

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17 Responses for “Trey Corbett, Former Elections Supervisor Candidate, Cleared of Alleged Ethics Violation”

  1. BW says:

    Thank you for printing this and providing this update. Let’s also just clear the air here as to where the complaint actually came from . . . Kimberle Weeks. A simple visit to the Clerk Of Courts will show her purchase of various records regarding Corbett. It is far from coincidence that the same information was the highlight of these allegations made by a not only close friend of Weeks but who has major medical issues and can assemble an over 100-page report? The allegations were a personal attack meant to provide political smoke and try to smear a good person’s name within the community.

    The reality is that we have a local Constitutional Officer who conducts herself in a manner far from that which is respectable. Promotional fans paid for through campaign funds were places within reach of those in line in the Elections Office, and complaints to her were shrugged off. As anyone who worked on a campaign knows, no campaign material is to be handed out within the coned areas. Complaints about her sign placements within the City of Palm Coast by the City were not met with any respectable response on her part. It seems she feels there is one set of rules for everyone and another set for her. I wish I could say I trust my tax dollars going to good use in Elections Office, but I do not.

    We were promised “creative ideas” by Supervisor Weeks to improve the communications and keeping voters better informed. So where are those ideas? I see nothing different. A newsletter (the first in about a year) was placed online. A newsletter? I would say that was creative if this was 1982 but it is 2012 and there are far more effective and efficient ways to keep the community informed. Likewise for all the money Mrs. Weeks boasted about “giving back” I would think we could have had 3 locations for early voting (i.e. Flagler Beach City Hall) since their should have been funds for that.

    The elections may be over, but it is not forgotten.

    • Get Real says:

      Just exactly what crative ideas were promised? I went to a couple of the forums, and I don’t remember anything being promised.

  2. Magnolia says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Corbett. I’m glad your name was finally cleared.

  3. Maryjoe says:

    Well, we knew this was going to be the outcome. Congrats to Trey. Poo-poo on Kimberle and her cohort. A waste of time and money for us tax-payers.

    • Brad says:

      Too bad no body is is looking into the other sneaky underhanded crap this city counsel gets away with, like blowing all the money people have paid on their water bills, which are already the highest in the state, on other nonsense that doesn t need to be done , but is , so they can keep giving their local contractor friends jobs , they prolly receive kick backs on , if they had used the money we pay on our ridiculously high water bills on the canals and swale`s and weirs , instead of redoing the median on Belle Terre over and over again, just to keep their buddies busy , they wouldn t need to raise our bills yet again , or rip us off with their 52 camera`s, , this counsel is as dirty and sneaky as they come.

      • Will says:

        Brad – what in the world are you talking about? The Supervisor of Elections race, which this article’s about, has nothing to do with the actions of the Palm Coast City Council (or as you say, “counsel”).

        Since you’re talking about Palm Coast issues, I guess you don’t mean the councils in Bunnell or Flagler Beach.

  4. kmedley says:

    Weeks’ “creative ideas” include seeking more than $500,000 for new voting machines. She submitted this request to the County without any documentation. Simple amounts listed for machines, supplies, and training, without any breakdown or justification.

    As for Ms. Affatado, she does nothing on her own and acts in complete concert with Weeks. It’s a shame that Weeks was re-elected by so many of what Rush refers to as “the uninformed” voter. At least the budget brawls will be entertaining.

  5. RNYPD says:

    Same old song and dance with this dirty politics. Glad to see ONE of them got caught with her hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Who else got smacked with an ethics complaint?

  6. The record doesn't lie says:

    Sounds just like a story of a used car salesman. Just because it wasn’t possible to refinance the home removing Trey Corbett’s name from a note doesn’t give him ownership to the house where his ex-wife lives. The 2011 divorce judgment signed by a 7th judicial circuit court judge, provided sole and exclusive ownership of the home to Corbett’s ex-wife. Corbett didnt list the home or the mortgage on his 2011 financial affidavit which was filed in his divorce case, but in 2012 Corbett listed the asset and liability of the home and mortgage on his financial disclosure statement when running for public office. Never mind the judge ordered Corbett’s name to be removed from the property in 2011. Since Corbett hasnt complied with the court order in the divorce file can it be assumed Corbett is now in Contempt of Court? Did he snub the judge by not following orders? Michelle Corbett listed the mortgage and home in her divorce financial affidavit. She is on the up and up.

    Interesting how Corbett claimed to manage a Title Company during his campaign. He also claimed to have management and budget experience, interesting his reported net worth in 2012 was a big fat NEGATIVE of $117,000.

    What became of the case the General Council of the Division of Elections turned over to FDLE about Corbett illegally voting? I suppose Corbett has another sob story as to why he didn’t or should I say couldn’t update his address on his voting record before voting in the first 2 elections in 2012 when he moved out of the wife’s home? Oh, that’s right, even though the ex-wife confirmed with the General Council he didn’t live in the home, Corbett claimed he did.

    59% of the 73% of the voters who voted in the 2012 general election voted for Weeks…that speaks volumes. Weeks won by the largest margin of any candidate on the ballot. Weeks serves us well and it was recognized.

    It’s too bad Mrs. Affatato had a stroke AFTER filing the complaint against Corbett which prevented her from appearing to testify against him at the hearing. She is a no nonsense type of person and only speaks the truth. She is a real Republican, and one who is a true American.

    • BW says:

      You speak as though selling cars is not an admirable profession? And on that note, what exactly does Mr. Corbett’s marital status have to do with the ability to be Election Supervisor? Wasn’t Mrs. Weeks fired from her job at the County Clerk’s Office around 2007-2008? The concern about her trustworthiness must have been pretty high since she was locked out of the office and her belongings brought to her as it has been told. Interestingly enough, Mr. Corbett never went there during his campaign did he? The reason is simple . . . he has class. Unfortunately, our Supervisor likes to treat local politics like a Jerry Springer episode.

      Yes, 59% of the votes went to Kimberle Weeks this past election. Just another indication of the very sad state of awareness with local elections.

      • Get Real says:

        Actually it shows that Republicans have no vivable candidate to beat Ms Weeks. All the Republicans want to do is push and intimidate voters to vote the way they want the election to go, regardless if the candidate is qualified. Sad

        @Magnolia: Just because they cleared his name, doesn’t mean he wasn’t guilty. No evidence was presented to back up what he was claiming.

        @kmedley: If you really looked at what was sent to Mr. Coffee and the Commissioners, it was a rough estimate from the vendor to give the county a ball park figure of what the new equipment will cost. If you have a problem, which you always do with what Ms Weeks does, maybe you ought to go to the state and let them know your problem about counties having to purchase new voting equipment. It is not an option, so stop blaming the supervisor.

        @kmedley: It shows that the voters can see a con game when presented.

    • kmedley says:

      “59% of the 73% of the voters who voted in the 2012 general election voted for Weeks…that speaks volumes”

      Yes it does! It shows the status of the “uninformed voter” here in Flagler County. Many believed it was better to dance with the devil you know and boy are they getting dipped!

  7. Anyone but Weeks.. says:

    She’s done in the next elcetion.

  8. Reality Check says:

    Dirty politics, it is a sad state we live in

  9. confidential says:

    Is clear that no matter that this “Ethic Violations Commission Board” decided to clear him of wrong doing that man lied to us all and under oath in his election form and from the start. I am glad the electorate in this county have wised up lately and voted in office a good SOE, Mrs. Kimberle Weeks.
    Our appreciation to Joan Affatado for her courage. Sure the record doesn’t lie! Weeks will win again in 2016 by the same or even larger margin!

  10. Trey Corbett says:

    Let me set the record straight. On the top of the very document submitted has the person whom I called at the state elections office with the date and statement that this is how I was told to fill this out. So there was no lie. FULL disclosure. When the Weeks campaign launched these attacks, they failed to notice that. So that charge was easily dismissed. I heard I was under investigation by FDLE from Weeks at each debate. I called the FDLE to make any statements or comply with any investigations and was told “Mr. Corbett, you are not now nor have you ever been under investigation by the FDLE and we will not be used by your opponents in a political campaign.” The damage however was done. Additionally, Does it make sense that I would put a Mortgage (I am still on note and mortgage) on the form making myself look badly. No, it would have made more sense not to add it as it made me upside down. Had I not put it on the form, the same complainers would have cried “ethics violation–he left a mortgage with his name on it off!” A no win scenario. I called the elections office when filling out the form and they refused to help or answer questions. So I called the state, explained, and filed what they advised so it didn’t look as though I was hiding anything. Hardly the act of someone who was trying to violate ethics. As for being in contempt, as the statement from the non legal professional aforementioned, it’s not up to the judge to find me in contempt. It is up to Michele Corbett. We didn’t execute it so she could attempt to modify with the bank or refi as the decree says. This made it impossible so we didn’t execute the quit claim deed. Which has nothing to do with the campaign or makes any statement as to my ability to lead. The third complaint was that I did not put hospital bills on the financial form. Well, when Kim Weeks went to the courthouse and paid for records to scan, in her hurry to file ethics complaints, she neglected to check the dates from the divorce decree to the time the financial statement was filed. There were NO hospital bills to report as they had already been paid in full. Now I ask you all to view the issue through the prism of truth. Your conclusions are your own. There were NO ethics violations! I never hid anything and answered the questions. Anyone can make a complaint. The state will investigate. As you all can see, this is quite clear and out in the open. I wish Weeks and the voters well. I hope Weeks does all she promised in the election. I only addressed the issues in the SOE office. I never went negative or personal. Maybe it cost me the election or maybe not; however, I am proud that I worked very hard navigating difficult and unfamiliar waters. I am ready to just be active in the community. Those who really know me understand that I am active in Flagler because I care. I wanted to serve. Since I was not elected, I will serve elsewhere. May the Lord Bless you all. I respect your rights to post what you think.
    –Trey Corbett

  11. its all bull says:

    People are so insecure with their own lives and have to continue dwelling on a past election. Flagler county made some wrong decisions and will some feel the pain. Get over it stop trying to destroy peoples’ names… Move forward!!!!

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