Rep. Tobia faces possible sanctions in ethics case
State Rep. John Tobia, a second-term Melbourne Republican, violated the state Constitution by filing incomplete financial disclosure forms over a three-year period from 2007-2009.
The Commission on Ethics announced the finding Wednesday against Tobia, 33, a political science professor, who submitted amended forms last September and agreed to a settlement in the case. The commission did not recommend a penalty against Tobia because the rules of the House put that responsibility in the hands of fellow lawmakers. "In accordance with statute, the matter will be referred to the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives for consideration of an appropriate penalty," the agency said.
News accounts said Tobia overstated his net worth by including the equity in his home as an asset, and that he did not disclose the value of cars he owned. Tobia is the second Brevard County legislator -- and second college professor -- to face sanctions this year for running afoul of the financial disclosure law. The other is Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, who was formally admonished by his Senate colleagues.