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State investigators clear justices of wrongdoing, Scott not pleased

by Dara Kam | July 5th, 2012

Three Florida Supreme Court justices did not break the law when they used court staff to notarize campaign documents, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement decided.

But the matter is not settled. Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and Fred Lewis, up for merit retention, now have to fend off a lawsuit seeking to strip them off the November ballot.

Gov. Rick Scott directed FDLE to investigate the issue last month after state Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, steered the governor to a state election law prohibiting candidates from using state employees who are on the clock for campaign work.

Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs found the judges apparently violated the law, but noted in a letter to FDLE that the notarization took less than a minute.

“It is well established that the law does not concern itself with trifles. In general, there is no prohibition against a notary employed by the state, notarizing a document for their boss, or even as a public service to the citizenry,” Meggs, a Democrat, wrote to FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey this week.

FDLE investigators agreed.

“It appears that the practice of using staff members to notarize campaign and other documents is common practice throughout the State and is done solely as a matter of convenience,” the FDLE report concluded.

The involvement of staff to notarize the financial disclosures and candidates oaths “was ancillary in nature and limited solely to notary services and the typing of the headers on these documents,” the report found. “Neither the Justices nor the Supreme Court staff interviewed considered the notarization of these documents to be, in any way, campaign related, and no evidence indicating an abuse of either position or public resources was revealed during the course of this inquiry.”

Scott issued a terse statement sounding displeased with FDLE’s results.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Commissioner Gerald Bailey and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for diligently reviewing the possible violations by Florida Supreme Court Judges. According to FDLE findings, it appears using state employees to complete and file campaign forms and other documents is ‘common practice.’ Now this case is before the courts where a determination will be made as to whether this ‘common practice’ is legal. Whatever the ruling, we will accept it and act accordingly,” Scott said.

In April, the justices interrupted oral arguments after being alerted that their campaign documents were not complete. Court staff helped to complete their papers, which were submitted just minutes before the qualifying deadline.

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14 Responses to “State investigators clear justices of wrongdoing, Scott not pleased”

  1. Tess Says:

    Dickless Scott, grasping at straws because he doesn’t LIKE the way these judges think. He is the most pathetic, desperate piece of crap ever to step foot in the state of Florida.

  2. howie Says:

    How foolish Democrats look attacking the governor for fighting corruption in our government. How many Democrat office holders are in prison as I type. Check out Palm Beach Counyt Commisioners and don’t overlook Cleveland, Detroit and Illinois.

  3. Morgana Says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! What an idiot! These same Justices will be ruling in the pension case in the fall and this was/is an attempt to intimidate them. This must be one of the most corrupt states in the country!!!

  4. Kevin Says:

    While it is true that there are a fair number of former Palm Beach County Commissioners in prison, someone should inform howie that they consist almost entirely of republicans…up until a few years ago republicans had a strong presence on the Palm Beach County Commission, that was until they went to prison for corruption. Both parties are guilty of if somtimes, but ignorant comments like “democrats are always bad” don’t make any sense, and aren’t based in reality..

  5. SheliaJoy Says:

    Well work for the county and you can be a notary paid for by taxpayers and use your notary stamp to make money. You can also take an FMLA day;go to a prison and notarize documents for a Jamcian drug dealer AND KEEP YOUR JOB.

  6. Rick Scott's Nemesis! Says:

    Remember, they are only “activist judges” if the GOP disagrees with them. Another example of the fact that Scott is the worst governor this state has ever had. Sadly, Floridah is now the most corrupt state in the nation and we have the GOP to thank for this. It’s still a wonder how the people of this state ever elected this crook and fraudster. They don’t call it Floridah for nothing!

  7. herb Says:

    I see.. “in fact” Gov Scott is the worst governor we ever had..not an opinion…so in fact every Democrat politician is a hypocrite and a liar ..and in fact Obama is the worst President we ever had..and that is a fact you can take to the bank..

  8. mike Says:

    Scott again says he will abide by the law and again he lies.

  9. Stu Says:

    How much has Scott cost taxpayers with all these law suits? The drug testing (he lost), the pension changes (he lost), the Dr’s asking about guns (he lost), leading state in the law suit against Obamacare (he lost)!!!!! I know there are more! Any idea on the figure in tax $$$$?

  10. JustMeee Says:

    Poor Florida continues to be THE laughing stock of the nation thanks to our legislature and our guv-ner. Wha Wha Wha!

  11. Mary Says:

    howie,

    Palm Beach County Commissioners who went to prison for corruption (obtaining financial benefits through their votes on various projects)are:

    Mary McCarty, REPUBLICAN
    Warren Newell, REPUBLICAN
    Tony Masilotti, REPUBLICAN

    Palm Beach County Commissioners who received probation for drunk dialing associated with trying to get an environmental project through, and lying about it:

    Jeff Koons, DEMOCRAT

    Next time don’t let your partisanship interfere with the facts.

  12. Ensumousuat Says:

    Свежие новинки постоянно можно закачать на нашем сайте. Для Вас Золотой сон, в любое время если есть нормальный интернет. Смотрите новинки 2012 и получайте удовольствие на отдыхе.

  13. kelly Says:

    That our 5th amendment taking governor even got elected speaks to the stupidity of Florida voters. I hate to admit it, but Jeb was light years more effective than this guy; wrong, but effective. Either Scott is getting bad advice, or he has no idea how to govern. Maybe both.

  14. CatholicChristianDemocrat Says:

    The time has come to take back Florida, our home state!

    How many times do you have to be hit in the back of the head before you turn around and see who it is? “Harry Truman”

    Hahaha! Republican isnt a catch phrase for christian! Its a catch phrase for less government period! In a world of rampant fraud and greed they want less enforcement. That is all I needed to know. I might be busy but I know when my tax dollars are being played into the game instead of refereeing it!

    We love our transplants and our happy and weary tourist to visit our protected and funded and beautifully kept environment and theme parks!

    We love our senior citizens who dont need jobs but find them anyway!

    Our elected governors actions should teach us to prioritize. Scott nor anyones money or name calling should delay florida’s swift recovery! Voter tampering might though…protect your rights or lose them!

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