“Alligator“ Ron Bergeron has been cleared by Florida Commission on Ethics after questions were raised regarding a $25 million contract he signed with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). He’s now been officially nominated for a seat by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Bergeron was chosen to occupy a seat on the board by DeSantis back in late January.
But after questions surrounding that contract began to arise, DeSantis said his appointment of Bergeron would remain pending until the ethics investigation was complete.
The commission on Friday voted 8-0 that Bergeron’s business dealings did not present a conflict of interest which violated state law. DeSantis followed up with a statement on the ruling late Friday afternoon, confirming Bergeron would be nominated to the SFWMD board.
“I am pleased the Florida Commission on Ethics reached a conclusion on this matter and I am happy Ron will be joining the board,” DeSantis said.
“He has devoted his life to the protection and restoration of our Everglades and water resources. I look forward to his leadership and the contributions he will bring to the district.”
The contract in question established that Bergeron Land Development Inc. would handle work on a Martin County water cleaning facility. He signed that contract with the district just a week after DeSantis announced his selection of Bergeron to serve on the SFWMD board.
Going forward, the commission stated that Bergeron’s companies will not be barred from doing business with the Board entirely. However, those proposals must be submitted through sealed bids, and Bergeron must not involve himself in the transactions.
Any contracts between his companies and the district made prior to his appointment do not present a conflict under state law, according to the commission.
Bergeron is a longtime environmental activist, with a particular interest in the Everglades. He advised Gov. DeSantis on the environment during the campaign.
Bergeron also spent a decade on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.