The Commission on Ethics on Friday also dismissed complaints against Attorney General Bill McCollum and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the two leading candidates for governor in 2010, over their use of state-owned aircraft for trips to and from their homes and, in Sink's case, for flights that occasionally involved family members.
The complaints were sparked by Times/Herald accounts in June that documented dozens of cases in which the two statewide officials used the planes for commuting or at times commingled political and business travels. But Florida law only prohibits public officials from using state planes "solely" for furthering their candidacies. As special advocate Craig Willis noted in his report on the Sink case: "There have been, apparently, no trips using state planes solely for the purpose of furthering her candidacy."
Sink issued this statement: "I appreciate the Ethics Commission's thorough review of the facts in this case and I am pleased the commission found no cause to support the complaint."
-- Steve Bousquet