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Ethics Commission drops another complaint against Sachs

by John Kennedy | September 18th, 2013

A complaint against Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, for failing to include a $278,000 home she owns in The Villages on financial disclosure forms filed over a six-year period has been dismissed, the Florida Commission on Ethics said Wednesday.

The commission, meeting last week, ruled that Sachs has gone back and amended the forms filed between 2006 and 2011 and the “public interest would not be served by further proceedings.”

The complaint was filed by Kenya Nelson of Delray Beach, who could not be immediately reached for comment.

The commission has already dropped another complaint over Sachs’ failure to report a Tallahassee condo she owns, when the senator went back and amended the forms on three years’ worth of disclosures.

Then-Palm Beach County Republican Chairman Sid Dinerstein had filed that complaint in the weeks leading up to Sachs’ victory last fall over Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff in a hotly contested Senate race.

Sachs’ property holdings and peripatetic lifestyle have drawn Robin Leach-like focus from the media and Republican leaders for months.

Sachs and her husband, condo lawyer Peter Sachs, own a home west of Boca Raton that is outside the boundaries of her Senate District 34. She said her actual residence was a 740-foot condo in Fort Lauderdale owned by a friend, a claim that drew more ethics and legal complaints since dismissed by the Florida Senate Rules Committee and Ethics Commission.

In her latest move, Sachs recently changed her voter registration to a two-bedroom, two-bath Delray Beach condo a few blocks from the ocean — but within District 34.

Still, Sachs’ wanderings — and similar residency questions involving other Democratic lawmakers — have sparked Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and House Speaker Will Weatheford, R-Wesley Chapel, to demand a better definition for lawmakers living in their districts.

The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee is scheduled Monday to begin work by reviewing the current legal standards.

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