Ethics decision on local website management will be applied statewide



The State of Florida Commission on Ethics chairman, Stanley M. Weston, officially reported yesterday the outcome of 32 complaint cases heard by the commission during their regular session on Friday, December 11, 2015.

Having an effect on Historic City News and our client, Mayor Nancy Shaver, the Commission adopted a formal advisory opinion finding that the person or entity hosting and managing an elected official’s personal website is not considered a “business associate” under the meaning of the voting conflict statutes.

Further, the official is not required to abstain from voting on a measure that would fund litigation against the hosting company’s publication, according to the announcement.

The Florida Commission on Ethics is an independent nine-member commission formed in 1974 to review complaints filed under the statutory Code of Ethics and to answer questions from public officials about potential conflicts of interest through its issuance of advisory opinions.

If the Ethics Commission believes a violation of the law may have occurred, it may decide to hold a public hearing. If it concludes a violation has been committed, it may recommend civil penalties that include removal from office or employment and fines up to $10,000 per violation.

May be accessed on the Internet at in a press release dated Press Release December 16, 2015.

Photo credits: © 2015 Historic City News contributed photograph by Jackie Hird