Floridians have four new ways to lodge ethics complaints against public officials. The change came as Gov. Rick Scott signed the final piece of a sweeping ethics reform package on Wednesday.
Scott’s signature opens up new avenues for people to report suspected government corruption. The new law allows the public to complain to law enforcement, U.S. and state attorneys or the governor’s office without their identity becoming public right away.
Public officials could lose their homes or other valuable property if they don’t pay their state ethics fines on time. That’s what the Florida State Commission on Ethics hopes will happen if next year’s legislature passes their proposed bill.
During a closed-door hearing, the Florida Commission on Ethics found probable cause Tallahassee Mayor John Marks violated the state’s ethics laws. Erwin Jackson, who brought two ethics complaints against Marks said the commission found cause in both cases.
“The Ethics Commission simply confirmed what is obvious. That John Marks has used the office of Mayor for his personal gain and that of his business associates,” Jackson said.