The Florida Ethics Commission voted 4-3 to impose a $4,000 fine on former Flagler Commission candidate Dennis McDonald, $6,000 less than the ethics commission advocate had recommended.
florida ethics commission
School Board member Janet McDonald and her husband Dennis McDonald agreed to settle a three-year-old case with the Florida Commission on Ethics, conceding that they had made minor and unintended violations on their financial disclosure forms.
The ethics commission also found probable cause to believe the former mayor “misused his position to accept things of value for himself and others in return for access and influence.”
A state ethics investigation found that both Dennis and Janet McDonald inaccurately reported assets on disclosure forms ahead of election runs. The late Frank Meeker, a county commissioner, filed the ethics complaints shortly before his death in 2016.
The state Ethics Commission ordered Kim Weeks to pay nearly $130,000 and Dennis McDonald and Mark Richter Jr. to pay the rest to compensate the county for defending against frivolous and defaming complaints they’d filed.
The orders are a remarkable victory for county government and for County Attorney Al Hadeed, who led the charge to recoup fees from Weeks, Dennis McDonald and Mark Richter Jr.
The fine and public censure bookend Barbara Revels’s eight years of public service as a member of the Flagler County Commission, where she had been its most effective member and most skillful parliamentarian.
If the Florida Commission on Ethics did not exist, its chairman argues, thousands of ethical violations and trespasses of good government would occur, continuing to diminish what little trust the people have left in government.
Barbara revels, the former Flagler County commissioner, agreed to settle the ethics case against her, admitting to numerous errors in three years of required financial disclosure forms.
Colleen Conklin took months to file a financial disclosure form and paid a $1,500 fine over it, but an ethics investigation found her failure had been “willful,” and the Florida Ethics Commission could have had grounds to remove Conklin from her Flagler County School Board seat.