In danger of missing a deadline to have their names on the 2012 ballot, these three Florida Supreme Court justices took a bold step. They placed their hearing on-hold.
And over the next hour finished their qualifying paperwork using court staff to help complete and notarize the documents. They beat the noon deadline, but in the process raised concerns over how they did it.
Days later Representative Scott Plakon wrote this letter to Governor Rick Scott calling for an investigation. Thursday the Florida Department of Law Enforcement decided to pursue the case.
“After review the allegations, FDLE made the decision to open an investigation,” said FDLE Spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger
In a phone interview with Plakon Friday, he told me, he just wants the justices to follow the same rules as everyone else.
“Someone should take a look at it because I think most Floridians would agree that no one should be above the law, even if you are a Supreme Court Justice,” said Plakon.
At the heart of the investigation is whether or not the justices broke the law when they used court staff, paid with your taxpayer money, to carryout their personal, political business.
It’s not without precedent. All the justices on the 2010 ballot used court employees to notarize their merit retention paperwork.
If FDLE does find wrong doing, the justices will likely face misdemeanor char
A spokesperson for one of the justices says court employees are used regularly to notarize important documents. She looks for the FDLE investigation to be wrapped up quickly and the justices to prevail.