Rep. Kim Daniels, a Democrat from Jacksonville, will face no penalty for ethics charges dating back to her tenure on the local City Council.
In January, Daniels’ case was referred by the Florida Ethics Commission to House Speaker Jose Oliva.
Daniels admitted culpability regarding filing multiple erroneous financial disclosure statements as a Councilwoman. However, Oliva took a narrow view of the House’s disciplinary authority in this case.
“The actions referenced by the Commission occurred outside of the time of service by Rep. Daniels in the House. The Speaker expects all Members to abide by House Rules, ethics laws, and Florida Statutes. Any violation of those rules while a Member will be addressed by the Speaker,” asserted spokesman Fred Piccolo Thursday.
This concludes an issue that was first floated nearly four years ago, as Daniels (a professional evangelist by trade) was running for re-election.
In 2015, a complainant charged that Daniels owned properties beyond those listed in her 2012-2014 financial disclosure forms, including mortgages for properties that belonged to her church, adding up to $1 million of undeclared assets.
Indeed, her churches had multiple properties — “parsonages” — in various cities, timeshares, and over a dozen cars.
Also at issue: timeshares with the Daniels’ names on the deeds, along with that of the ministry, another conflation of ownership interest.
A similar complaint filed previously was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, as it was listed within 30 days of Jacksonville’s 2015 election.
Daniels was re-elected in the Democratic primary in August, defeating Duval County School Board chair Paula Wright despite the local party leaning in favor of Wright’s campaign.
As there were no GOP or NPA candidates, the open primary was decisive.
Last year, the Florida Chamber recognized Daniels as the most pro-business Democrat in state government.
Additionally, she is known for bills that many critics say blur the lines between church and state, including a 2019 proposal to require high schools to offer Bible study courses as an elective.