STATE OF FLORIDA
COMMISSION ON ETHICS
In re LAWRENCE M. RHODES, )
Respondent. ) Complaint No. 90-5
FINAL ORDER AND PUBLIC REPORT
This matter came before the Commission on Ethics for final action on review of the Recommended Public Report of the Hearing Officer (a copy of which is attached and incorporated by reference). The Respondent filed exceptions to the Recommended Public Report, which recommends that the Commission find that he violated Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes.
Having reviewed the Recommended Public Report, the Respondent's exceptions, and the record of the public hearing of this complaint, and having heard the arguments of counsel for the Respondent and of the Commission's Advocate, the Commission makes the following findings, conclusions, rulings, and recommendation:
The Findings of Fact set forth in the Recommended Public Report are approved, adopted, and incorporated herein.
The Conclusions of Law set forth in the Recommended Public Report are approved, adopted, and incorporated herein.
The seven exceptions to the Recommended Public Report filed by the Respondent are rejected for the following reasons. Exception 1 is rejected as the wording in Paragraph 22 is not inconsistent with the issue as framed in Number 4 of the alleged violations; indeed, it provides more specificity. Therefore, there has been no departure from the essential requirements of law. Exceptions 2, 3, and 4 are rejected as there is competent, substantial evidence in the record to support the findings of fact contained in Paragraphs 23, 24, and 25 of the Recommended Public Report. Exception 5 is rejected in that there is competent, substantial evidence in the record to support the Hearing Officer's findings on credibility as stated in Paragraph 26. Exception 6 is rejected in that the failure to prove the date that the violation occurred is not a denial of due process.
To the extent that Exception 7 argues that the Conclusions of Law are erroneous, it is rejected because the Hearing Officer's Conclusions of Law are legally correct.
Having found that the Respondent, Lawrence M. Rhodes, as Director of the Manatee County Mosquito Control District, violated Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes, as described in the Recommended Public Report, pursuant to Sections 112.317(1)(b) and 112.324(4)(c), Florida Statutes, it is the recommendation of the Commission on Ethics that he receive a public reprimand by the Board of Directors of the Manatee County Mosquito Control District. In doing so, we reject the recommendation of the Hearing Officer that the Respondent also be ordered to pay a civil penalty of $1,000. We depart from the Hearing Officer's recommendation after considering the record before us and the testimony of the Respondent. We are of the view that a public reprimand is a sufficient penalty at this juncture in the proceedings.
ORDERED by the State of Florida Commission on Ethics meeting in public session on July 19, 1991.
Commission on Ethics
THIS ORDER CONSTITUTES FINAL AGENCY ACTION. ANY PARTY WHO IS ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THIS ORDER HAS THE RIGHT TO SEEK JUDICIAL REVIEW UNDER SECTION 120.68, FLORIDA STATUTES, BY FILING A NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL PURSUANT TO RULE 9.110, FLORIDA RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE, WITH THE CLERK OF THE COMMISSION ON ETHICS, 2107 THE CAPITOL, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-1450; AND BY FILING A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF APPEAL ACCOMPANIED BY THE APPLICABLE FILING FEES WITH THE APPROPRIATE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL. THE NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL MUST BE FILED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE THIS ORDER IS RENDERED.
Copies furnished to:
Mr. Donald B. Hadsock, Attorney for Respondent
Ms. Virlindia Doss, Commission Advocate
State Attorney Earl Moreland, Complainant