The Florida Commission on Ethics’s advocate, in a joint agreement with former Volusia County Council ember Heather post, is recommending that Post pay a $1,000 fine for failing to file her financial disclosure form for 2021 on time. The agreement also calls for Post to be publicly reprimanded and censured.
Post was elected to the council in 2016 and two years later ran for different, at-large seat on the council, winning that race. She opted not to run for re-election in 2022.
Post had previously been a business owner and, for two years, a Volusia County Sheriff’s deputy until her resignation in 2010 following an internal affairs investigation that accused her of not following superiors’ directives and for lying. She subsequently contested the accusations, alleged gender discrimination and won a $44,000 settlement, according to a 2016 News-Journal report.
The one-page ethics complaint was filed by DeLand resident Phyllis Stauffenberg last October. The Ethics Commission investigated and found that despite numerous attempts to have Post comply with the filing, she did not do so. Between June and November 2022, the Financial Disclosure Section of the commission sent her emails, certified letters, a postcard, made phone calls, to no avail, with one exception. Last September, Post called the commission and said she had fallen down a flight of stairs in April 2022, and that she would have the financial form overnighted.
The commission never received the document by the time the investigation closed. Post filed it in early February.
Post had filed her disclosures properly from 2016 through 2020. Failure to file such disclosure forms–a requirement for all elected officials–is a constitutional violation.
The advocate’s recommendation must be ratified by the full Ethics Commission at its Oct. 20 meeting in Tallahassee.
Post’s tenure on the council was tumultuous, but off the council she did not lose support. Her council tenure was fraught with difficult relations with fellow-council members, opposition to former County Manager Jim Deneen and questions about her travels on taxpayer dollars, among other issues. But she won both her elections handily.