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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Boyfriend's a vendor? School Board member can't take his gifts, Florida Ethics Commission says



Like other Florida elected officials, school board members face strict guidelines about taking gifts from vendors and lobbyists that do business with their districts.

But what if the board member is dating a vendor? Can she accept presents worth more than $100 from him?

In a recent advisory opinion, the Florida Commisison on Ethics says "No." The question came up when an unidentified board member asked about the reporting requirements if traveling and exchanging gifts with her boyfriend, who works for a law firm that counsels the district.

"(D)ue to the lobbying/vendor relationship between the boyfriend's law firm and the District, the member may not solicit gifts of any value from her boyfriend, and may not accept any gift from him, his firm, or his law partners that is valued at more than $100," the commission determined. "The member's boyfriend must report any gift to the member that is valued between $25 and $100. If the couple shares the cost of travel, meals, lodging, or other entertainment equally, the member has provided adequate consideration and has not received a gift."

Read the full opinion here. Wonder if the board member regrets asking?

[Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:48am]


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