WCTV: Florida GOP’s chair of chairs files ethics complaint against Nikki Fried

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By: WCTV Staff

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Friday, Florida GOP’s chair of chairs Evan Power filed an ethics complaint against Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for failing to disclose more than $400,000 in lobbying income.

This comes just days after Comm. Fried announced that she would be running for governor in 2022, as well as Friedissuing amended financial disclosures to reveal hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying income from a consulting firm.

The ethics complaint states that Comm. Fried acquired a home valued at more than $700,000. This was reported on both her 2018 and 2019 disclosure. The complaint says that, however, there was “no dip or increase in her income reported to substantiate such a purchase.” As such, the document accuses Fried of failing to properly account for the “exponential increase” of her net worth as well as personal effects during this time.

The complaint said that Comm. Fried’s net worth increased from $271,613 in June 2018, to over $1.44 million in Dec. 2019.Advertisement

Additionally, the complaint alleged that Comm. Fried failed to report her individual assets in her IRA’s and 401K’s.

Several witnesses, including founder and Comm. Fried’s fiancé and CEO of Surterra Wellness Jake Bergmann, attorney Michael Colodny and CEO and Founder of Harvest Health & Recreation, were listed in the complaint.

WCTV received the following statement from Comm. Fried on Friday evening:

Florida’s Republican leaders are terrified of me because they know I will beat Ron DeSantis. Less than twenty-four hours after DeSantis was caught taking a likely-illegal $100,000 dark money contribution from a shadow donor, his administration is in chaos and coordinating with the partisan Republican Party of Florida’s Chair to create a distraction, launching a witch hunt against me and my former company. Unlike their dear leader, I’ve disclosed and have been transparent about all of my finances, including past mistakes when filing forms before announcing for office. Humility and transparency just aren’t in their vocabulary.Advertisement

When someone threatens to upend Florida’s corrupt system, those in power will use all of their state government resources and political influence to protect the system that keeps the special interests in control — I’m running to break the system.