Tallahassee. FL- Today (12-3) the top man in the state senate told the Florida ethics commission he's guilty. But he may not have to pay the price, all thanks to the power he wields at the capitol.
Mike Haridopolos, (R) Senate President, says, "My wife's not happy with me, my newspaper's not happy with me, and I'm not happy with me."
Over the course of four years, Senate President Mike Haridopolos pulled in 97,000 dollars in consulting fees. But, he never disclosed exactly where the money came from.
As a public official, he was required to do that, to shed light on whether or not he might have a conflict of interest. It turns out the money came from two marketing companies, and Haridopolos calls the omission an honest mistake, but, he also left out a 400,000 dollar Mount Dora investment home.
Critics are accusing Haridopolos of being 'devious'. Now, the commission can't hand down a punishment - that's up to Haridopolos' own office. Today the Melbourne republican handed his case over to the senate rules committee, made up of people directly appointed by, you guessed it...Mike Haridopolos.
His attorney, Pete Dunbar, tells us under Florida law there's really no other option.
Dunbar says, "The penalty here has already been paid, for the embarrassment for not reading the directions correctly, and I don't think any further action should be taken and I would advocate that strongly."
Despite the way the system is spelled out in state law, Haridopolos is already taking even more criticism... This time over a *different* kind of conflict of interest.