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Commission finds former Gillum aide violated ethics code

Photo via Dustin Daniels
Photo via Dustin Daniels(WCTV)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 2:19 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Andrew Gillum’s former chief of staff violated Florida’s code of ethics during the former mayor’s campaign for governor, according to the Florida Ethics Commission.

The commission says during a public session meeting, it considered an order from an administrative law judge for an ethics complaint filed against Dustin Daniels.

In its final action, the commission found Daniels violated the state’s ethics code by “misusing official resources as to a campaign-related mass email utilizing City equipment.”

The commission voted to increase the $250 civil penalty to $1,000, and it is also recommending a public censure and reprimand from the governor.

In Jan. 2019, the commission found probable cause that Daniels committed an ethics violation after a Tallahassee resident filed a complaint in 2018.

The complaint said a software system the Mayor’s Office bought in 2017 was an approved purchase of Daniels’ using $5,000 in taxpayer money.

NGP VAN, the software in question, was mainly used to send emails about city events to various distribution lists; however, at least four emails sent using the software were about Gillum’s political campaign for governor.

An investigation found Daniels and another city staffer were the ones in charge of sending all emails on the software.

Daniels was the runner-up in Tallahassee’s 2018 Mayoral Race, narrowly losing to current Mayor John Dailey.

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