A Tallahassee woman has filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, for failing to abstain on votes that involve charter schools, reports the News Service of Florida. Fresen? sister and brother-in-law are principals in a for-profit charter school company called Academica, the complaint says. Trish Thompson, who filed the complaint, says ?resen failed to declare a conflict of interest prior to casting a vote?in a House Education Committee meeting on April 20. He voted on a bill (HB 7195) that expands charter schools, allowing highly-rated schools to expand and add grades. ?e also participated in the promotion of amendments that would enhance his relative? ability to profit from ?or-profit?management company charter schools.” He is accused of violating a state law that prohibits elected officials from voting any measure which could help or hinder any relatives or business associates. Rep. Betty Reed, D-Tampa, abstained from voting on that same bill because her daughter works for a charter school, the complaint notes. Fresen told the Miami Herald on Thursday that ? consider this complaint to be another misguided attempt to create smoke where there is no fire.?He also told the Herald the complaint was incorrect in stating that his sister worked for Academica.
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