By George Niemann
The views expressed are my own and not necessarily the same as the organizations to which I belong
The ethics charges against State Senator Jim Norman for secretly taking money from the late developer/powerbroker Ralph Hughes has taken a step forward. The Florida Ethics Commission has just ruled that the charges I filed on November 15, 2010 are legally sufficient. As such, the case has now been placed under investigation.
According to earlier press reports, there were only 3 individual ethics cases filed, mine being one of them. The other two complainants are Byron Dean of Brandon and Keith Berry, a Hillsborough Community College history professor. I decided to check with the other complainants to verify that they did file. I spoke with Byron Dean about his complaint. He told me that he was not the only one in Brandon that filed a complaint. He is actively involved with other citizens in his area and he estimates that somewhere between 60 and 80 other residents also filed complaints against Norman. The press only uncovered 3 cases but apparently there were many more than what was reported. Since the Commission does not share information with the public or the press on cases under investigation, this blog post may be the only update you will find as to the progress of these cases.