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Ethics complaint filed against Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott responds during a Twitter town hall meeting in January as his wife, Ann, looks over his shoulder. He transferred his investment in health care provider Solantic into a trust held by her. An ethics complaint has been filed.

Photo by COLIN HACKLEY

Gov. Rick Scott responds during a Twitter town hall meeting in January as his wife, Ann, looks over his shoulder. He transferred his investment in health care provider Solantic into a trust held by her. An ethics complaint has been filed.

TALLAHASSEE — A Clearwater activist has filed an ethics complaint accusing Gov. Rick Scott of using his office to benefit the chain of walk-in clinics he founded.

David Plyer, 64, based his complaint on a St. Petersburg Times report that Scott's health care policies — drug-testing state workers, switching Medicaid patients to private HMOs and shrinking public health clinics — could benefit Solantic Corp., a chain of 32 urgent-care centers in Florida.

The state Commission on Ethics will review the complaint for legal merit before deciding on action.

Scott moved his $62 million investment in Solantic into a trust held by his wife, Ann, before taking office.

After the Times story, Scott said the state will not contract with the company while he is governor.

"I've been transparent," Scott said Monday.

Plyer has filed several complaints against public officials in recent years.

• A complaint in November 2009 against then-Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and other statewide officials for their use of state airplanes was dismissed.

• A complaint in January 2009 helped persuade Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs to open a grand jury investigation into whether former House Speaker Ray Sansom used his position to secure a six-figure job at a state college.

• The ethics commission found probable cause in a November 2009 complaint that former Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Frank Peterman "corruptly misused his position" to travel between Tallahassee and his hometown of St. Petersburg on the state's dime.

Plyer said investigations are pending on a pair of complaints he filed against two Hillsborough County officials. In February 2009, he accused former Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson of using federal tax money to boost his political fortunes. A complaint in January 2010 accused county Commissioner Kevin White of improperly using tax money to fight a sexual discrimination suit.

All the complaints were based on Times reporting.

Michael C. Bender can be reached at mbender@sptimes.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelCBender.

Ethics complaint filed against Gov. Rick Scott 04/11/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2011 9:58pm]
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