Meggs: Justices won't be charged for using employees to notarize campaign forms

Jul 5, 2012

Charges won’t be filed against three Florida Supreme Court judges who use court employees to notarize their elections paperwork. Earlier in the year the court put a hearing on hold to allow the justices to turn those documents in. A court employee notarized those filings. An FDLE report called the practice “common”, but the state attorney’s office says the infraction is minor.

Longwood Republican Representative Scott Plakon raised the issue to Governor Rick Scott, who then deferred to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. In a report, the agency says the practice of having employees notarize paperwork is a common practice.

But state attorney Willie Meggs said there is no prohibition against a notary employed by the state, notarizing a document for their boss.

Meanwhile, a conservative legal group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two state residents who argue the justices would not have made the ballot if they hadn't used state employees and requests they be booted from the ballot.

Governor Scott issued a statement saying the matter is now up to the courts and that he will accept the outcome. Quince, Parente and Lewis, all appointed by former Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles, are up for merit retention votes in November.