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Lawmaker calls for investigation into whether Justices violated election laws

Florida lawmakers are asking the governor to investigate whether three state supreme court justices broke the law when they filed last minute paperwork needed for them to be on the ballot this year. Regan McCarthy reports some say the justices used court employees to help them, and say that’s a violation. 

In the middle of oral arguments over the Senate’s new voting district maps last week, the court took what Chief Justice Charles Canady said would be a 10 minute recess, but turned into about an hour long break. During that time Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and Fred Lewis filed financial disclosure forms due later that day. Now Representative Scott Plakon, a Republican from Longwood, says he thinks a law may have been broken in the process. He sent a letter to the governor asking him to look into it.

“My letter started off by naming nine newspapers that had reported that the justices used three different court employees to prepare their campaign documents and that on the surface of it would seem that that’s a violation of the law, Florida Statute 106.15.”

Governor Rick Scott’s press office says the governor has not yet made a decision about whether to investigate the matter.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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