Florida Democratic chair files ethics complaint against DeSantis over retreat
Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried has filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), accusing him of accepting gifts from his political committee in violation of state law.
The complaint centers primarily on a three-day retreat at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach, Fla., where DeSantis met with donors and Republican lawmakers. Records filed with the state show that the political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, paid more than $235,000 to the resort.
The complaint also points to a handful of other expenditures by the committee, including $142,000 at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami for a meeting expense and nearly $12,000 for food and beverages at Dirty French Steakhouse in Miami.
“This is yet another example of Ron DeSantis arrogantly thinking he is above the law. No one is above the law,” Fried said in a statement. “While Floridians face some of the highest property insurance and mortgage rates in the state’s history, DeSantis is hobnobbing with special interest donors and lining his pockets with freebies. Floridians deserve answers, and DeSantis needs to be held accountable.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures during a news conference, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)
Fried’s complaint is the second filed against DeSantis in less than two weeks. Make America Great Again Inc., the main super PAC aligned with former President Trump, filed a complaint earlier this month accusing the Florida governor of violating state and federal law by running a “shadow presidential campaign.”
DeSantis’s office brushed off that complaint as “politically motivated,” and dismissed Fried’s complaint on Monday with a similar remark.
“Just like the one from two weeks ago, we’ll just add this to the list of frivolous & politically motivated attacks,” Taryn Fenske, DeSantis’s communications director, tweeted. “Louder for the Dems in the back: It’s inappropriate to use ethics complaints for partisan purposes.”
DeSantis is seen as a top contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nod and is actively preparing for a campaign, though an announcement isn’t expected until later this spring after the Florida state legislature’s annual session comes to a close.
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