Ethics commissioner seeks changes in Senate plan

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A member of the Florida Commission on Ethics is calling for changes in an ethics bill that has been a top priority of Senate President Don Gaetz, saying the measure could have “unintended consequences.” In a letter sent to news organizations, Commissioner Matt Carlucci said he would like to see the House make changes in the bill (SB 2), which was unanimously approved by the Senate last week.

For example, he pointed to a definition of “special private gain” in part of the bill dealing with voting conflicts. He said the definition is too narrow. In another example, he said the bill would allow officials to have a “do over” if complaints are filed against them because of erroneous financial-disclosure forms. He wrote that would remove “any incentive to file the report accurately in the first place.” Carlucci, a former Jacksonville City Council president, praised other parts of the bill, such as a provision that would allow liens to be placed against officials who don’t pay financial-disclosure fines.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.