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Mike Haridopolos admonished in ethics case. Read the consent decree here.

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos was formally admonished by his own Rules Committee on Thursday for failing to accurately disclose his finances on state ethics forms.

 The committee’s decision was instantly bashed by Democrats as a “whitewash” because the Republican leader, a candidate for U.S. Senate, wasn’t fined for failing to properly detail his investments, a $400,000 home and a consulting job that earned him $120,000 from 2004 through 2008.

  But the committee -- whose members were all tapped by Haridopolos – said he didn’t deserve a fine because the errors weren’t intentional and he owned up to the mistakes when the Florida Commission on Ethics brought the matter to his attention.

 “In view of the inadvertent nature of these violations, Senator Haridopolos’ admission of error and his subsequent submission of required corrections, the Rules Committee recommends to the Senate that a letter of admonishment from the Rules Chair is an appropriate level of penalty,” read the consent decree, which was unanimously approved Thursday by the Rules Committee.

 The committee chairman, Sen. John Thrasher, said the committee’s decision to admonish Haridopolos was based on two similar cases from 2000 involving two Florida House members who improperly filled out their financial disclosure forms.

 Like those representatives, Haridopolos apologized in writing for his actions, which he has described as sloppy.

 “While these errors on my forms have been easily corrected, I take this situation very seriously and will embrace whatever is deemed to be the appropriate penalty,” Haridopolos wrote. “I accept responsibility for these errors and apologize to the members of the Florida Senate. I have learned from this process and have gained a greater respect for the need for elected officials to remain diligent in their efforts to be transparent with the public.”

 But the man who discovered Haridopolos’ shoddy disclosure forms, Vero Beach resident Eugene H. “Bucky’’ Benson, said the Senate president got off too lightly. He noted that Haridopolos, a college lecturer as well as Senate President, should have been more diligent about following the state Constitution, which requires full and accurate financial disclosures.

 “When a college professor says he didn't read the instructions - and he just kept using his original unopposed form as a template - he is unfit to be a college professor,” Benson said in an email. “When a politician says he didn't read the instructions, he may be telling the truth: BUT - he, too, is unfit to be in a seat of power. And, when a "politician turned college professor" says those same things; he is unfit to hold either position.”

 Democrats piled on by calling for Thrasher and Miami Sen. Anitere Flores to recuse themselves from the rules committee because both have endorsed Haridopolos’ U.S. Senate campaign and therefore had a conflict of interest.

 Flores said she had a duty to vote on the matter and had no conflict. Thrasher was more blunt about whether he should have stepped down.

 “Hell no,” he said.

Download Scan0212

Here's his apology: Download Haridopolos_letter_rules

Comments

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GreenGoblin

Unlike most politicians, Mike actually admitted he made a mistake and did something to fix it. Some might actually find that refreshing. I know I do.

mike gibson79

Leave it to the Democrats to immediately repudiate an official for standing up and doing whats right. Even at his darkest hours Haridopolos shows that he is a true leader and will handle himself with dignity as a leader should.

Retracto

Marc, did you actually read the report? He did report the consulting job and the income he got from it. He forgot to name the clients he had, and the report also says none of his clients lobbied the state while he did work for them. Pretty major details that you have never given when this has been covered.

Retracto

Marc, did you actually read the report? He did report the consulting job and the income he got from it. He forgot to name the clients he had, and the report also says none of his clients lobbied the state while he did work for them. Pretty major details that you have never given when this has been covered.

yalegradguy

Again the liberal media reprints Democratic statements without verifying the facts... public documents show that the house referenced in this report was actually purchased in June after the financial reporting period for the quarter was over. Haridopolos could not have had to disclose this house because you can't disclose something you don't own at the time of the filing. Seems pretty logical to me.

Sigh.

This has been going on for months, yet these facts still get missed. Just sad, really. Whatever happened to reading these documents before you publish an article? Gimme a break.

Yawn

Glad that there was no intentionality found...essentially he was sloppy. No malicious intent and none of the companies that paid him had any business with the state. Maybe I'm missing the scandle here??

What else is going on in the world?

joe

Caputo is a hack. I'm no Haridopolous fan, but I'm even less of a Caputo fan.

Lying by Omission is still a lie

Tim

if you watched the committee hearing, the SmartCap bill got approved as well. so while liberals and Marc are all busy worrying over (and misreporting) clerical errors, Haridopolus and conservatives are actually getting good things done.

Rodney

This case seems like a waste of time to me. Everyone's reaching. Yes, he violated an ethics law. In 2010 he ADMITTED it and made the revisions. do you think he omitted the information on purpose?

we should focus our efforts on something productive - focus on the economy.

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