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30-Year Law Enforcement Veteran Files Elections Complaint Against Rick Scott

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Breaking Florida Law, Gov. Scott Has Misled On-Duty Police Officers into Attending Political Campaign Events

Today, a retired Broward County law enforcement professional and former Marine filed an elections complaint against Rick Scott for recruiting on-duty law enforcement to his political campaign events under false pretenses. 

The fact is, Rick Scott will do anything to win a second term. On June 16 and July 7, on-duty police officers were surprised to learn that the Rick Scott events they had been asked by the governor’s office to attend to provide security were, in fact, political campaign events.

As the Elections Complaint makes clear:

  • Florida statute 104.31 states that no “officer or employee of the state,” including Governor Rick Scott, shall “[d]irectly or indirectly coerce” a state employee to participate in a political organization, because “employees “of the state or any political subdivision may not participate in any political campaign for an elective office while on duty.”
  • Florida statute 106.15(3) states, “A candidate may not, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours.”
  • Rick Scott’s political campaign facilitated the violation of 104.31 F.S. and 106.15(3) F.S. by soliciting the assistance of on-duty law enforcement officers -- under the false pretense of security -- only to repeatedly feature them as political props in the background of campaign events.

“Florida’s police and law enforcement dedicate themselves to public service and put their lives on the line every day. They deserve better than to be used by Rick Scott as props in his political campaign. They deserve nothing less than his utmost respect,” said retired Police Lieutenant Jeff Marano of Hollywood, a 30-year veteran of Broward County law enforcement and a former Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Jeff serves as president of the Broward County Police Benevolent Association.

“Rick Scott crossed the line and it’s time for him to take responsibility and stop blaming his violation of Florida law on those sworn to protect our families.”