In HD 47 primary, Mo Pearson called on to return contributions tainted by Orlando X-way scandal

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In light of the recent indictments and guilty pleas of former members of the Orlando Orange County Expressway Authority, Republican Mike Miller is calling upon Mo Pearson, his primary opponent in the race for House District 47, to return all campaign contributions connected to the scandal.

Pearson’s camp is labeling the claims “ridiculous.”

Pearson is an environmental consultant whose firm, 3E Consultants, Inc., lists the Expressway Authority as a client. Pearson also applied to serve on the Expressway Authority Board at the same time as Marco Pena, who resigned last month from the board and last week reached a plea agreement with state prosecutors about his role in a conspiracy to subvert Florida’s Sunshine laws.

“Scandals like this destroy the sacred trust between government and the people it serves,” said Miller. “Mo Pearson should immediately return all of the money he’s received in connection with the Orlando Expressway Authority and its indicted board members.”

According to filings submitted to the Florida Department of Elections, Pearson had received at least $7,800 from Expressway Authority members and vendors – including from indicted board members. However, Pearson spokesman Brian Hughes says his candidate has already returned any questionable contributions. Hughes called Miller a “failing candidate.”

“Before Miller’s ridiculous attack, Mo Pearson had already returned contributions from those who stand accused of violating the public trust,” said Hughes. “In fact, Pearson has publicly stated encouragement for Governor Scott to sign the legislation that will alter the Expressway Board and restore accountability and trust to this public entity.”

Responding to Miller’s claim that Pearson continues to retain Pena and his firm Swift Vose Pena, Pearson’s camp says it fired that firm in March and produced a letter of termination as proof.

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.