Thursday, March 10, 2016
Comm'r BENNETT "Cleared" OR Ethics Technicality?
Read the 54 State Ethics Commission files on the PRISCILLA "RACHAEL" BENNETT probe here.
You tell me if Republican County Commissioner BENNETT (R-HUTSON COMPANIES) being the ex-VP and Manager of 22 of DAVID HUTSON's companies, becoming a Commissioner, and doing his bidding is corrupt, or not.
We've got a weak Ethics Commission and weaker ethics laws. We need a St. Johns County ethics ordinance, as other counties have enacted, covering all local officials.
We're not done yet.
The FBI will investigate.
Hopefully the investigation will including BENNETT's lawyer, Tallahassee insider MARK HERRON.
Enough goofy gooberishness from Tallahassee home cooking mouthpieces with tortfeasors and termagant walked by the likes of lawyer MARK HERRON, former ETHICS COMMISSION CHAIRMAN, who represents both Democrats and Republicans, including the Florida and Democratic National Committees and has no principles, once telling me when I asked him to disqualify himself from representing RANDY BRUNSON, "I CAN REPRESENT ANYONE I WANT."
Ethically challenged former FLORIDA ETHICS COMMISSION CHAIRMAN MARK HERRON says "I CAN REPRESENT ANYONE I WANT," represents both Democrats and Republicans.
As St. Augustine civil rights hero Dr. Robert S. Hayling, D.D.S. said, "Never give up."
Thanks to Folio Weekly's Ag Gancarski, for exposing BENNETT's unethical practices, here.
And thanks to Randy Covington, for having the courage to file the complaint. Kudos!
Now here's The Record's biased shallow article, which avoids the facts and sounds typical of its ostrich approach:
Florida Commission on Ethics clears Bennett
Posted: March 9, 2016 - 11:13pm | Updated: March 10, 2016 - 12:38am
By SHELDON GARDNER
An ethics complaint filed in 2014 against St. Johns County Commissioner Rachael Bennett has been dismissed.
The complaint, filed by county resident Edward R. Covington II, focused on Bennett’s former business ties and her work as a public official on a couple of proposed roadway projects, according to records.
“The Commission found no probable cause to believe that [Bennett], who also served as the county’s representative on the North Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization, had a voting conflict when she voted in May 2013 on a matter that allegedly benefited an entity with whom she [previously] had a contract,” according to the Florida Commission on Ethics. “No probable cause also was found regarding an allegation that she misused her position concerning a proposed extension of a state road in order to benefit an individual or their businesses. An allegation that she had an employment or contractual relationship with an entity that was doing business with her agency was dismissed with a finding of no probable cause.”
The complaint suggested possible ethics violations by Bennett through her work on a proposed State Road 313 extension — the road itself is still just a proposal — and a county resolution to accept a land donation for the proposed County Road 305 extension, according to documents sent to the commission. The complaint focused on Bennett’s role as a commissioner and member of the North Florida Regional Transportation Planning Organization and her ties to a former business associate.
The complaint focuses on Bennett’s relationship with an official with The Hutson Companies, David Hutson and entities associated with the official. However, the complaint did not suggest any possible violations by anyone other than Bennett.
An official with The Hutson Companies declined to comment about the findings on Wednesday. A message left for Hutson was not immediately returned on Wednesday. The company is a developer in Northeast Florida.
Bennett resigned from Hutson Companies and affiliated entities in 2012, according to documents. She also didn’t have any contracts and didn’t receive any compensation from any Hutson entity through her own consulting firm after April 2013. The issues in question came in May and later. Bennett was elected to the commission in 2012.
Bennett said previously she knew she would be cleared.
“They did a very thorough job, and I’m pleased with the findings, but I was not surprised,” she said.
Bennett also has said the investigation had nothing to do with her decision in February to withdraw from the race for re-election — she cited personal reasons related to her health, family and future. Four people are now in the race for her District 5 seat.
When a complaint is filed, the commission determines whether the complaint suggests a possible violation of a law in the commission’s jurisdiction, according to the Commission on Ethics website. If so, a preliminary investigation is done and the commission decides whether there is probable cause that an ethics law was violated, and the process can move forward from there.
sponger2 03/10/16 - 07:24 am 82Bennett Clear?
She's about as clear as a barrel of used oil. Everything she has done in this county regarding development has led us down the road to disaster. Hope she's happy with the JOY she has brought into so many of our lives as we sit in traffic and breathe vapors that only a few years ago didn't exist. Or perhaps avoiding the downtown area we used to love. Or maybe the crowded beaches that they are now about to charge us for even if we could park off site. Maybe sitting by while they pushed the sales tax increase to let the developers slide on infrastructure and allow them to continue the rape of our once beautiful county. Truly a detriment to the community and a bottom feeder who has profited from the natural resources we once had. I wish her nothing but the worst life has to offer.
Mll211 03/10/16 - 08:19 am 62sponger2
ntvdtr1 03/10/16 - 02:40 pm 50agree!!!
Ditto......well said sponger2. The plans to destroy our beautiful town/county began decades ago in the back rooms of the commissioners with the developers and land owners. Sadly many of them were of local heritage and they still sold us out for their own profits. They know and we know who they are! This destruction continues today and will continue well into the future until there is nothing left that even remotely resembles what I and my forefathers grew up loving. Twenty/thirty years or more ago I used to go to the PZB and commission meetings and stood in protest of them rubber stamping development after development. They laughed and told me I was a fool to worry, that their actions would only improve my way of life, I should be grateful that people wanted to move here. Now, what took me 5 minutes to commute to work takes me over 45 minutes---yes, my way of life has certainly changed..........Shame on everyone who had a hand in the development beast, they are all to blame.