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RPOF files third complaint v. Charlie Crist over Morgan & Morgan


The Republican Party of Florida filed its third complaint against Democrat Charlie Crist related to his ties the law firm of Morgan & Morgan.

This complaint, with the ethics commission, revolves around Crist’s decision as governor in 2010 to appoint one of the firm’s lawyers to a post that nominates judges while he was negotiating with Morgan & Morgan to become an employee after he left office in 2011.

“Less than two weeks after the appointment of Mr. [Joseph] Linnehan, Mr. Crist became employed with Morgan & Morgan,” the complaint filed by RPOF’s executive director, Juston Johnson, says.

“That fact that Mr. Crist was a public officer during this period of time is without question. At some point, Mr. Crist apparently received a promise of future employment with Morgan & Morgan. It is also apparent that Mr. Crist may have received a special privilege or benefit for himself from Morgan & Morgan.”

Crist's campaign said in a statement: "It doesn’t get more ironic than Rick Scott, after pleading the fifth 75 times to avoid going to jail and leading one of the largest fraud schemes in the history of the US, directing his staff to file an absurd ethics complaint against Charlie Crist, the People’s Governor."

Linnehan didn't respond, but John Morgan, owner of Morgan & Morgan, said via email: "I never knew that Joe had applied until after he was appointed and never ever discussed it with Charlie. This is the third silly ethics complaint they have filed against the firm! Must be a slow day at the RPOF."

Consider this complaint a two-fer: It generates a headline and it recalls allegations of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein, a one-time Crist contributor who was appointed by the former governor to a Judicial Nominating Commission post as well and now says Crist essentially sold judgeships for contributions. Crist says Rothstein is a non-credible liar.

 Two prior RPOF complaints, aimed at Morgan & Morgan’s advertising on behalf of Crist, appear to have fallen flat. One concerned billboards, the other a TV ad.

Meantime, Democrats have filed complaints against Republican Gov. Rick Scott over his use of his private plane and for an alleged conflict of interest tied to a former investment in an oil-drilling company.

Here's the latest complaint:  Download CC ETHICS COMPLAINT 6-19

**Oops update: This is an ethics complaint. The other RPOF complaints concerned elections.