Hasner’s ethics agreement accepted, leaving at least one Democrat steamedby John Kennedy | September 9th, 2011
The Florida Commission on Ethics accepted an agreement Friday with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner, who acknowledged that he failed to submit his 2010 state financial disclosure form on time.
Hasner, a former House majority leader from Delray Beach, left the Legislature last November, but still was required by law to submit his disclosure statement for that year. Hasner said the form had been sent to him by certified mail from the Legislature, but was returned as “unclaimed” in error by the Post Office.
Hasner turned in his 2010 form within a month of being notified that it was missing. But a Palm Beach County Democratic activist, Diana Demarest, filed an ethics complaint against Hasner and Friday said “he still thinks he’s above the law.”
As part of the legal stipulation with Hasner, Friday’s public report is likely to prove the only punishment leveled against the candidate. The commission can only recommend fines or other penalties. But final action against a former representative would come from the House, which has shown no interest in pursuing the matter.
Hasner is among four top Republicans seeking the party’s nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. Neither Hasner nor his attorney attended Friday’s hearing. A spokesman for the campaign also denied comment on the outcome.
Demarest, a political consultant who openly supports Nelson, said she was unhappy with the commission’s action. “These guys leave office and just blow off doing what they’re supposed to do,” Demarest said.
Hasner is the latest in a recent string of legislators running afoul of financial disclosure laws. Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, who dropped out of the U.S. Senate race earlier this summer, was admonished last spring by the Senate for failing to fully disclose details about his finances from 2004 through 2008.