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Ethics complaint filed against John Thrasher

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Straight from Abel Harding, whose stuff you better be reading: An ethics complaint has been filed against State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, according toTangerineFL, a blog covering Florida politics.

The blog included a copy of the complaint, filed by Todd W. Byars as a result of news stories that appeared in the Times-Union and its sister paper, The St. Augustine Record.

Byars, a Tallahassee resident and a former Leon County Teacher of the Year, alleges Thrasher violated the public trust in pushing through SB 6. A portion of the letter is below:

The following discussion and attached documents will demonstrate a violation of Florida Statutes, Section 112.311(1), which provides that “public office may not be used for private gain.”

News Agencies and on-line resources indicate a conflict of interest and financial gain by Senator John Thrasher who was until recently, a paid Lobby for Testing Companies and Charter School groups. The referring stories are attached with links or other information to the source. Due to a request for brevity in the instructions for Complaint Form 50, only 2 Items are attached.

Discussion of each item and its relevance to this complaint:

Item 1: Article from Florida Times Union – ‘Testing Companies paid Thrasher’s former lobbying firm.’ John Thrasher was a paid lobby for the firms until very recently. As such he is paid to promote these causes.. This is a conflict of interest when he proposes legislation that benefits his testing companies and charter schools statewide. Senator Thrasher is being paid as a Senator and a Lobby. This is a violation of the Statutes listed above and possibly others.

You can read the full text of Byars’ complaint here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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