Cynicism of elected officials undermines those truly committed to doing their job on behalf of the citizens of our state. This spring I sponsored legislation giving counties the ability to increase the maximum fine and jail time for violation of standards of conduct and financial disclosure.
This bill, now law, was inspired by the troublesome actions in Palm Beach County that led over a short period of time to the removal and federal convictions of five locally elected officials. Nationally, Palm Beach was named "Corruption County.'
State attorneys now have more tools to fight corruption. The law also gives greater pause to those elected by the people to serve the people -- and not themselves. The legislation came from recommendations of the Palm Beach County Grand Jury report on public corruption. Local ethics violations are now punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to a year in jail. Previously, the maximum punishment was $500 or 60 days in jail.
I will continue to support meaningful ethics legislation.