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

Nikki Fried Faces Ethics Complaints

June 7th, 2021 by Mike Vasilinda

Agriculture Commissioner and Gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Fried has come under fire for amending her financial disclosure forms to report more than a quarter million more in income than originally filed with the state.

A finding of probable cause could subject Fried to discipline, but she has called the complaints a witch hunt.

In 2018, Fried reported a net worth of just over $271,000.

Also reported, $84,000 in income from her lobbying firm, Ignite Florida.

Fast forward to June 30th of last year, and Fried reported a net worth of just under $1.1 million.

Amendments filed on May 28th this year show her lobby firm income was not $84,000 , but $35,000.

The Republican Party of Florida’s Evan Power has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

“She’s under the obligation as a public official to disclose where she got it, where she got her income, how she paid for her house, how she’s financed all that. And she didn’t do it in a timely manner in violation of our ethical code,” said Power.

State GOP Chairman Joe Gruters has also sent a letter to House and Senate Committee chairs questioning the payments to Fried’s lobbying firm and asking for an investigation.

Fried has been a constant thorn in the side of Governor Ron DeSantis, but now ironically under state law, if the Ethics Commission recommends any penalties, it will be up to the Governor to invoke them.

Ben Wilcox of Integrity Florida would not comment directly on the Fried matter, but calls financial reporting essential.

“The public deserves to know if a public official is profiting personally from their public service,” said Wilcox.

Fried, in a statement, called the complaints a witch hunt, said she has been transparent and said she is trying to break the system that keeps special interests in control.

Under Florida law, ethics complaints are secret until they are proven or disproven.

They can also be released if the person who received the complaint agrees in writing that it is okay to make it public.

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