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Jeff Vasilinda becomes the Vasilinda Family’s first published author!

Rick Scott and His Plane

July 14th, 2011 by Mike Vasilinda

UPDATE: SCOTT’S OFFICE NOW SAYS THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN REIMBURSING COLUMBIA COLLIER LLC FOR THE USE OF THE PLANE, WHICH WOULD NOT REQUIRE THE TRIPS TO BE REPORTED AS A GIFT. WE HAVE ASKED FOR COPIES OF THE CANCELLED CHECKS.

Since taking office in January, Governor Rick Scott has been using a private jet to travel. The plane is owned by a corporation controlled by Scott, and, as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the Governor has apparently made a rookie mistake in failing to report the plane use as a gift.

When Rick Scott travels by air, he flies on a Raytheon Jet. FAA records show the jet registered to a Naples corporation, which is in turn owned by another corporation, Rick Scott Investments.

When Scott first announced he would use the plane back in January, we asked how he might account for the use of a corporately owned plane under state law.

Reporter: How will that work?

Scott: Its my plane, Ill pay for it myself.

But as the documents show, Scott doesnt really own the plane; a corporation, providing significant legal protections to the Scott family, is the legal owner. We showed the paperwork on the plane to one of the states foremost ethics attorneys.

In this case, its my understanding that its from a corporation, ethics and elections expert Mark Herron said. It has to be reported as a gift, unless the person whos traveling is paying fair market value under ethics rules for that transportation.

Under Florida law, Governor Rick Scott should have filed this form for the airplane trips he took in January, February, and March by June 30th with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

The Ethics Commission says they have nothing on file.

We asked the Governor Thursday about the failure to file the necessary gift report.

Id have to look into it. Scott said. I dont know, Ive got an accountant that does all that.

Experts chalk up the failure to report the trips as a rookie mistake by a staff and legal team not familiar with the requirements of Florida law.

Posted in Ethics, Rick Scott, State News | 6 Comments »

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