Responding to an ethics complaint filed against her after a local TV station reported that video showed her staying at a longtime family home outside the South Florida district she represents, Senator Maria Sachs responded directly to claims she doesn’t live in her Senate district.
“Of course I live in my district,” Sachs wrote in an email to SaintPetersBlog.
The residency question isn’t new for Sachs. Sen. Jack Latvala raised the issue in April during the confirmation hearing of Florida Elections Commissioner Barbra Stern. Stern’s name, along with that of her mother, Judy Stern, a Broward County lobbyist who is active in South Florida politics, are the deed of a Fort Lauderdale condominium that Sachs lists as her residence.
“”Republicans have spent millions attacking me and those attacks unfortunately did not stop with the election,” said Sachs. “But sadly, the Republicans’ well-funded attacks against me are getting more and more personal, but the people in my district aren’t buying it. And everyone I represent can be certain of this, too: I’m not going to take my eye off what’s important for a single moment. I’m focused on my constituents and their needs.”
Tamarac resident Matthew Feiler filed a complaint with the state Commission on Ethics on Thursday, claiming Sachs “falsely swore” she was qualified for the office, contending she lives in Boca Raton rather than in her adjacent district.
That condo is in Senate district 34, which Sachs represents. The Boca Raton house is just outside the district. Last November, Sachs defeated former Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff in a fierce campaign. Earlier this month, the Commission on Ethics found Sachs had failed to fully disclose ownership of her Tallahassee condominium, income from her legislative position and her net worth on 2008, 2009 and 2010 forms. But, the commission determined that no further action was needed because the disclosure forms had been amended.
State statutes say that “Each legislator shall be at least twenty-one years of age, an elector and resident of the district from which elected and shall have resided in the state for a period of two years prior to election.”
Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.