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Ethics Complaints Linger For Miami Republican Erik Fresen

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Legislative Session Coverage

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4/NFS) – Miami Republican Erik Fresen isn’t off the hook yet with the state’s Commission on Ethics.

Friday, the panel decided to hold off accepting a concession from State Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, that for several years he failed to properly disclose finances including an unpaid fine.

The commission deferred its review of the case until Dec. 13th. The extra weeks will give members time to review Fresen’s concession and additional paperwork filed Friday morning.

Ultimately, the commission could send recommendations to the House to determine if any sanctions or fines should be issued.

Fresen, a land-use consultant, is the subject of three separate complaints about his financial records. In September, he reached an agreement with the commission staff that acknowledged he failed to properly disclose information about his net worth in annual financial disclosure forms filed between 2008 and 2011.

Ethics Commissioner Matthew Carlucci, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s appointees to the panel, expressed concern that Fresen has been unwilling to pay a $1,500 fine that has been on the books since 2004.

“You make a mistake and you own up to it and correct it, that’s one thing,” Carlucci said, according to the Florida News Service. “To thumb your nose at the public trust is a whole different thing. I want whatever committee that is put together by the House to not only have the facts but to have the tone of the respondent in his attitude towards paying a fine.”

Neither Fresen, who is chairman of the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee, nor his attorney attended the hearing in the Senate Office Building.

(CBS/NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA “The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”)

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