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Paging Dan Krassner and Integrity Florida … Keith Fitzgerald’s on line one

By on August 4, 2012

Lately, Integrity Florida has been calling out ethical violations and failures to properly disclose conflicts of interest.

But it seems it missed at least one egregious conflict of interest: former state Representative turned Congressional hopeful Keith Fitzgerald.  Or should I say, full-time, tenured professor at the New College of Florida, Keith Fitzgerald.

I hope my friend, Dan Krassner, will look at the numbers:

From 2008-2010, the New College of Florida paid then state Representative Keith Fitzgerald a total of $271, 619 while he ran for and served in the Florida Legislature.

During that time, Fitzgerald voted on $31,359,534 to New College in FY 2008-2009 and voted on $24,545,577 to New College in FY 2009-2010.  .

Fitzgerald was also able to earmark close to $6 million to New College, requesting more than $1.5 million for deferred maintenance in FY 2007-2008 and more than $4.4 million for deferred maintenance in FY 2008-2009.

Here’s where it gets, um, interesting. In 2012, New College of Florida paid Fitzgerald $70,077, to teach just two classes in the Spring semester. While teaching those two classes, most (75%) of his students gave him a negative rating… Sounds like he spent more time campaigning and fundraising than bothering to educate Florida’s future.

While New College benefited over the course of four years because of a relationship with one of their own faculty, Fitzgerald conveniently forgot to disclose his relationship.

Whoopsie.

House Rule 3.2, makes it very clear: if thou shall gain from it, thou shalt not vote on it. And in the case of any conflict of interest, such conflict must be properly disclosed.

Again, whoopsie.

Looks like New College of Florida couldn’t have picked a better staffer to have up in the Legislature and Integrity Florida missed a WHAMMY of a conflict of interest.

But it’s OK, Dan, you can expose all of this now, but know that Fitz is on line one and Wasserman-Shultz is on line 2.  However, the Ethics Commission is beeping in on the other line for Fitzgerald.

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