Monday, September 19, 2022

Ethics commission advances investigation of former St. Augustine Beach commissioner. (SAR)

Hearing nothing on this case, wrote to the Ethics Commission in August.  The Ethics Commission falsely responded that it had no records. I sent them a copy of the complaint.  Now, this

From St. Augustine Record:

Ethics commission advances investigation of former St. Augustine Beach commissioner

The St. Augustine Record
The St. Augustine Record
 4 hours ago

A Florida Commission on Ethics investigation into the actions of a former St. Augustine Beach commissioner is moving forward. 

St. Augustine Beach Commissioner Ernesto Torres resigned after a police report alleged that he berated and tried to use his elected position to gain favor with local officers during his wife's Jan. 22 DUI arrest.

Elected officials who have resigned are still subject to review and disciplinary action, Commission on Ethics spokeswoman Lynn Blais said. Those penalties could range from public censure to a fine of up to $10,000 per allegation, she said.

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According to a press release, the Commission found probable cause to believe that Torres "violated the constitutional amendment prohibiting abuse of office to obtain a disproportionate benefit, solicited a favor from law enforcement with the understanding his official action or judgment would be influenced, and attempted to use his public position for his and his wife's personal benefit when he interfered with a DUI traffic stop involving his wife."

Blais said now the process moves to determine whether Torres actually violated the law and, if so, what penalty would be recommended.

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The case will either go to a full evidentiary hearing, or Torres and an advocate for the ethics commission could reach an agreement. An agreement would spell out what violations occurred and what the penalty should be, such as a fine, Blais said. 

An agreement would come back to the ethics commission for consideration. If the ethics commission agrees to it, the agreement would go to the governor for approval. 

When he resigned after the incident, Torres said he wanted to spend more time with family. He did not return messages seeking comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bend over backwards to save old lady, then lose job over it, and then throw old lady into ye old bin? Talk about mixed up. He could have done anything but that in that sequence and been ok!