Lets start rolling some pennies
Maybe someone should take up a collection for Ron Pritchard. From the Tallahassee Democrat-
The state Ethics Commission Friday agreed to an arrangement to fine former Brevard County Commissioner Ron Pritchard $100 for failing to disclose a flight he took last year on a local developer's plane.The $100 penalty is a joke. Politicians know what is good and bad ethics while at the same time know the penalty for breaking the rules is almost always a slap on the wrist. Tbe Florida Ethics Commission is considered a laughingstock by Florida citizens because of the cases like Ron Pritchard.
But the commission also voted to add a paragraph to the settlement stating that Pritchard ''relied on erroneous advice from the county attorney'' about whether the trip constituted a gift to a public official that should have to be disclosed.
Presuming Pritchard agrees to the addition, the Ethics Commission would approve the final order early next year.
The free roundtrip flight to Tallahassee was arranged in August 2005 on the private plane of Merritt Island developer Duane Watson, a friend and campaign contributor.
Along with Pritchard, Commissioner Jackie Colon, Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker and state Rep. Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach, were on the twin-engine Cessna flight to discuss the need for guardrails along Interstate 95 with the state Department of Transportation.
''This was a trip that represented a gift and should have been disclosed,'' Linzie Bogan with the state Attorney General's office, told the commission at its Friday meeting.
''He has accepted responsibility, has admitted to the violation, and we think that under these circumstances the recommended penalty of $100 is appropriate.''
At least Pritchard is out of office. Maybe he is out somewhere selling guardrails to help pay that big fine.
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