Financial disclosures were due last week, but Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has yet to turn one in for 2020.
Fried’s team said that’s primarily because she wants to make sure every detail is correct.
“Commissioner Fried’s Form 6 is being finalized to ensure accuracy and will be submitted within the September 1 grace period,” said Max Flugrath, a Fried spokesperson.
Indeed, there’s little official consequence for missing the deadline imposed by the Florida Commission on Ethics. While Florida officials holding elected office face a July 1 deadline for submitting the Form 6 disclosures, fines don’t kick in until Sept. 1. At that point, the state begins charging $25 a day, and will only allow $1,500 in fines to stack up.
But there’s reason many are clamoring for Fried’s forms. The Broward Democrat has repeatedly amended forms since she first ran for Agriculture Commissioner, a job she was elected to in 2018.
Shortly before she filed as a candidate for Governor in 2022, Fried filed an amendment to her 2018 disclosure of financial interests to disclose an income from Igniting Florida of $351,480. She also amended 2017 disclosures with the Division of Elections to show she made $165,671 in consulting fees, not just $84,000 as previously disclosed.
Also revealed, Fried was the 100% owner of the consulting company and had a stake in San Felasco Nurseries, a medical cannabis company purchased by Harvest Health & Recreation for $65.7 million in cash and stock in 2018.
The information revealed significantly more income than Fried had revealed when she initially filed her forms.
All that has many waiting to see what her 2020 disclosures reveal, especially as she seeks Florida’s highest state office.
All this may give Fried’s team reason to make sure everything is in order and no headline-making amendments get filed after the fact. But there’s also greater scrutiny than ever and anticipation about what Fried lists among her assets. And there’s reason to question why, with that level of interest, she didn’t have her information sorted out before the end of June.
DeSantis notably turned in his Form 6 disclosures on June 21, where he revealed a 20% increase in net worth.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, Fried’s chief opponent for the Democratic nomination, has not filed disclosures with the state, but he does not hold state office. He faces a deadline at the candidate qualification deadline instead.
Because Fried holds state office, she must file disclosures this year.