Sunday, April 21, 2019

Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest | Diane Ravitch's blog

Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest


In most states and in the federal government, conflicts of interest are prohibited and even illegal. But not in Florida!
State legislators regularly vote on legislation that enriches themselves and family members, and NO ONE CARES!
Conflicts of interest are peachy keen. Doesn’t everyone line their pockets at the public trough?
Fred Grimm of the Herald writes:
If Erik Fresen was … say … a county or city commissioner, a blatant conflict of interest would keep him from voting on charter school funding issues.
As my Herald colleagues Christina Veiga and Kristen Clark reported Sunday, laws governing ethical behavior would bar local officials from even discussing proposals at public meetings that have a direct or indirect financial impact on their interests. Or their families’ interests.
The Fresen clan has a lot riding on charter school construction funds. Erik Fresen earns $150,000-a-year as land consultant for Civica, an architecture firm that specializes in charter school construction. Civica has designed a number of schools for Academica, the largest charter school management company in Florida. Fresen’s sister and brother-in-law just happen to be Academica executives.
But state Rep. Fresen’s ethical deportment in the state Legislature is governed by such tepid regulations that the chairman of the House Education Budget Committee can get away with sponsoring legislation that would deliver a windfall to the family business.
The Miami Republican has fast-tracked a bill that would not only limit what school districts spend on their own CONTINUE READING: Florida: The State That Welcomes Conflicts of Interest | Diane Ravitch's blog

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