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Ethics panel OKs finding in Adam Hasner case

The Commission on Ethics voted Friday to ratify an agreement with former state Rep. Adam Hasner of Delray Beach, who failed to file a financial disclosure form within 60 days of leaving office as required by law. A staff report said Hasner claimed he didn't know he had to submit the form, but "Ignorance of the law is no excuse," the report said, quoting a Florida appeals court decision in Gusow v. State.

Hasner is currently a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. No penalty was recommended because the ethics commission has no jurisdiction over legislators, who write Florida's ethics laws. Only the House can impose a penalty, but that may be impossible because Hasner is no longer in the Legislature. The former House majority leader was termed out in 2010.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Dean Cannon, Katherine Betta, said Cannon would review the ethics panel's finding but could not comment beyond that as to whether the House would take action.

Hasner, who previously had filed his annual financial disclosure statements in a timely fashion, is the third current or former lawmaker in recent months who has run afoul of the disclosure law. The others are Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and Rep. John Tobia, R-Melbourne. Neither Hasner nor his attorney, Robert Fernandez, attended Friday's hearing in the Capitol. The complaint against Hasner was filed by Diana Demarest of Loxahatchee.

-- Steve Bousquet