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Abruzzo asks for meeting with PBC ethics board

by Jennifer Sorentrue | April 9th, 2013

State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, has called for a meeting with the Palm Beach County Ethics Commission, saying it has “never been more apparent” that an audit is needed to review how the three-year-old board “conducts itself.”

The Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, known as OPPAGA, said last month that it had launched a review of the commission’s $500,000 budget, its operating procedures and the methods it uses to enforce the county’s ethics rules. Abruzzo asked the Senate president’s office to order the audit.

During a meeting last week, Ethics Commissioner Ronald Harbison alleged that Abruzzo called for the audit because the board did not hire his legislative aide and former boss to serve as its new executive director.

In a letter sent Monday to Ethics Commission Chairman Manuel Farach, Abruzzo said he asked for the audit on Feb. 13. His aide, Philip Massa, did not interview for the commission’s executive director job until March 21.
Massa was notified on April 1 that he was not chosen for the position, Abruzzo said in the letter.

“It has never been more apparent to me that an audit is necessary to obtain information and have a thorough review for how the board conducts itself,” Abruzzo wrote in the letter. “It is irresponsible that someone in a position representing high ethical standards would make allegations in contradiction to a factual timeline without making any attempt to verify the negative assertions.”

Abruzzo said it is “imperative” for the county’s ethics commission to be “properly trained, free from influence and one that never holds prejudice.”
Abruzzo requested a meeting with the board at the end of the state’s legislative session.

23 Responses to “Abruzzo asks for meeting with PBC ethics board”

  1. Say It Ain't So Joe Says:

    Apparently, the Ethics Commission has offended Sen. Abruzzo’s friends and contributors, so now he is using his influence (peddling) as a state senator to persecute(via OPPAGA audit)the board. What a total hack politician! (NOTE:73% of PBC voters support our independent Ethics Commission.)

  2. real men have eyebrows Says:

    There is no reason for the ethics board to meet with him. They don’t report to him.

  3. justice Says:

    This all has to do with HENRY HANDLER & HOWARD WEISS….. Abruzzo is on there payroll…. as a “lobbyist”….. A PAID lobbyist!! Handler & Weiss lack all ethics and morals….Weiss you recall THREATENED Judge Krista Marx NOT to run for State Attorney in Palm Beach… Sen. Abruzzo should run far away from Weiss Handler – just as the City of Delray did. Several law suits pending against against Weiss Handler. Civil Theft, Fraud, Legal Malpracrice & Obstruction.

  4. Frankly Says:

    Why did Alan Johnson jump off the ethics train to work for State Attorney Aronberg?

    PBCOE is funded by public tax dollars from cities being investigated which is incestuous or at least a Conflict of interest by biting the hand that feeds you.
    PBCOE is a stupid expense for public feel good. Dishing out tiny fines or slaps on the wrist for follow politicians who vote for their contract!

  5. Stan Says:

    Auditors found deficiencies in: WorldCom,
    Enron, GM, Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers on and on. Private sector has had its share of corporate thievery and its time for government to be overaudited.
    Palm Beach County deserves more oversight of the overseers since we lead the state in public corruption. Fasten your seat belts its going to be a bumpy ride.

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  8. Not so Bright Says:

    Lobbyist “Maserati” Abruzzo still hasn’t explained why he hid behind Senate President Gaetz and Sen Clemens when he initiated his two recent witch hunts instead of just putting his name on them from the beginning. By the time this is all over the investigative spotlight will be turned on him G-d willing. Feds, look in his closets, or maybe his garage.

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