HD 30 candidate Karen Castor Dentel faces serious charges filed with Florida Election Commission

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The following is cross-posted from Tom Tillson of the Florida Political Press.

A complaint has been file with the Florida Election Commission against Karen Castor Dentel, a teacher in the Orange County School District and Democrat candidate for House District 30.

Among the allegations, Castor-Dentel is said to have taken part in campaign related activities while on school time, a violation of Section 104.31(2), Florida Statutes;

(2) An employee of the state or any political subdivision may not participate in any political campaign for an elective office while on duty.

Evidence has surfaced that Castor-Dentel frequently used her Orange County Public Schools official email account to discuss campaign-related subjects with colleagues and others during normal working hours.

Additional allegations involve Castor-Dentel requesting that Principle Junella Handley mention her campaign during the next scheduled faculty meeting, a violation of Section 106.15(3), Florida Statutes;

3) A candidate may not, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours.

Another alleged incident involves soliciting a political contribution in a government building when Castor-Dentel left an invitation to a fund raising event in Principle Handley’s office mailbox at Dommerich Elementary School, a violation of 106.15(4), Florida Statutes;

(4) No person shall make and no person shall solicit or knowingly accept any political contribution in a building owned by a governmental entity. For purposes of this subsection, “accept” means to receive a contribution by personal hand delivery from a contributor or the contributor’s agent. This subsection shall not apply when a government-owned building or any portion thereof is rented for the specific purpose of holding a campaign fund raiser.
The complainant plans to file a complaint with the Florida Ethics Commission on Monday against Castor-Dentel as well.
Locked in a tight battle with Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon, billed as one of the top 10 ‘Essential Races’ in the country by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, it’s difficult to say how much of a set back these charges will be for Castor-Dentel.  It is certainly a significant distraction that serves to overshadow recent endorsements her campaign has received.

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.