Ethics Commission finds O’Toole failed to disclose voting conflict

The Florida Commission on Ethics has determined that state Rep. Marlene O’Toole, R-The Villages, failed to disclose a voting conflict when she voted on the 2013 budget.

The determination was made in a closed-door session Jan. 23. In all 28 complaints were heard against lawmakers.

The commission determined that O’Toole did not disclose her dual roles as chief operating officer of Take Stock in Children and vice chair of the House education appropriations committee that approved $6 million for the nonprofit. Take Stock in Children was awarded an additional $9.1 million from the state’s $200 million mortgage settlement. O’Toole voted on both matters. In neither case did she disclose that she was paid $50,000 a year by the nonprofit.

The announcement from the Commission on Ethics follows:

The Commission found probable cause to believe that H. MARLENE O’TOOLE, Florida Representative for District 33, failed to disclose a voting conflict when she voted on the 2013 General Appropriations Act that included a specific appropriation for her employer. Probable cause also was found to believe that she failed to follow disclosure requirements when she voted regarding the disbursement of a settlement fund that inured to the special private gain of her employer.

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