Fried faces financial scrutiny days after announcing run for Florida governor
Less than 24 hours after Commissioner of Agriculture Democrat Nikki Fried filed to run for governor, a Republican senator wants to dig into her finances.
That senator is chairman of the Republican Party Joe Gruters. He claims Fried earned far more than she first reported.
He’s asking Naples Republican Senator Kathleen Passidomo-Dist. 28, who chairs the state rules committee to investigate further.
“The complaint alleges that she improperly took or didn’t report funds from her lobbying firm,” Passidomo said.
The letter from Gruters said Fried’s first report in 2018 showed no income from her lobbying firm, Igniting Form LLC.
In 2020 she claimed she earned $72-thousand and then on May 28th 2021 before announcing her bid for governor, Fried again adjusted the report showing she earned more than $350-thousand in 2018.
“As chair of the rules committee, it’s my obligation to review the complaint then determine how we’re going to proceed,” Passidomo clarified.
Under Florida rules she has 30 days to get it done.
“Over the next couple of days I’m going to meet with staff and general counsel to determine what process and procedure we need to employ” Passidomo stated.
She also explained it possible the ethics commission could investigate the matter first because another sworn complaint has been filed with the Florida Ethics Commission who may be better equipped to investigate the issue although Passidomo was aware of the ethics complaint she had not seen it.
So it is possible the senate committee could hold off and proceed after the ethics committee reviews it.
However Commissioner of Agriculture Fried responding saying,
“Less than twenty-four hours after DeSantis was caught taking a likely-illegal $100,000 dark money contribution from a shadow donor, his administration is in chaos and coordinating with the partisan republican party of Florida’s chair to create a distraction, launching a witch hunt against me and my former company.” Fried concluded.
She is referring to a $100-thousand dollar mystery donation made to the governor’s political committee.
Passidomo insisted her committee would not get involved in the politics of any matter.
The senator is expected to decide in a couple of weeks on how to proceed.
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