CLEARWATER — The Pinellas County Commission will consider requiring more rigorous financial disclosure requirements for applicants to at least some county boards.
Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to put the issue on their Sept. 23 agenda and directed county attorney Jim Bennett to research what kind of information the county can legally require an applicant to disclose.
The move comes in the wake of a Tampa Bay Times story published last month that revealed Roger Broderick, a volunteer member of the county's Housing Finance Authority, owed nearly $90,000 in delinquent county property taxes and had more than two dozen properties in foreclosure, including land once slated for a county affordable housing project.
The authority sells bonds to help finance affordable housing projects and assist first-time home buyers.
Commissioners weren't aware of those problems when they appointed Broderick, 69, in April.
The issue was not on Tuesday's agenda. During the public comment portion of the meeting, Clearwater resident David Waddell urged commissioners to remove Broderick from the board.
"It's quite clear he has financial issues," Waddell told commissioners.
The commission did not discuss rescinding Broderick's appointment, but agreed there should be a more thorough review of an applicant's financial picture, at least for some boards.
"I think that makes very pragmatic sense to make sure those steps are taken," Commissioner Norm Roche said.
Applicants to boards that make decisions related to real property, such as the Local Planning Authority and Board of Adjustment, are required to file a basic financial disclosure form that asks for a list of assets and liabilities. The form does not ask if the applicant is or has been a party to a lawsuit, which would require the disclosure of a foreclosure.
Broderick, who has successfully developed affordable housing projects, told the Times last month that he wants to stay on the board.
Commissioner Susan Latvala said she'd hoped Broderick would "do the honorable thing and resign." It's possible the board could consider rescinding his appointment, Latvala said.
"We need to have that discussion and see what other board members think about how far we want to take this," she said.
Contact Tony Marrero at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8779. Follow @tmarrerotimes.