Stern and Maguire cleared of all charges


The Florida Elections Commission reported at the conclusion of their session yesterday that they found no probable cause in the complaints filed by Edward A. Slavin, Jr. against former County Commissioners Karen Stern and Bruce Maguire.

The vote by the Commission was unanimous, 6-0.

FEC 08-171 Motion to find No Probable Cause 6-0 approved
Karen Stern

FEC 08-172 Motion to find No Probable Cause 6-0 approved
Bruce Maguire

Last November, Historic City News reported that local businessman Randy Brunson had been cleared of all charges by the Florida Election Commission following another complaint that was brought by Edward A. Slavin, Jr.

Abuse of the complaint process by someone, like Slavin, who was disbarred from the practice of law, costs government agencies and citizen taxpayers a great deal of money. Historic City News asked the Commission office if they could determine the actual cost of responding to and adjudicating these unfounded complaints. No one was able to give us a precise figure; however, they said “the cost is substantial”.

And worse, in the case of Brunson, some area media seized on Slavin’s spurious complaints. One Ponte Vedra Beach publication went so far as to publish Brunson’s picture on their front page beside the two former county commissioners who Slavin had accused of wrongdoing — just days before he stood for election to the Board of County Commissioners.

Brunson faults Slavin and the newspaper who published the remarks, in part, for his loss in that election contest.

In 1973, the legislature created the Florida Elections Commission to enforce the campaign finance laws. The Commission investigates alleged violations upon receipt of a legally sufficient, sworn complaint.

If the Commission finds a violation of the election laws, it can levy a fine of up to $1,000 per count.

Photo credit: City of St. Augustine Commission meeting photo

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