A Tallahassee lobbyist didn’t retaliate against a top state financial regulator by drumming up false sexual harassment charges against him or engage in a “pay to play” scheme involving hiring decisions, a Leon County Circuit Court judge ruled last week.
Former Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Ronald Rubin was fired in July 2019 after an Inspector General report detailing a series of sexual harassment allegations against him was released.
Rubin later claimed Paul Mitchell, a lobbyist for several insurance companies and accounting firms who helped get Rubin hired, conspired to remove him because he wouldn’t hire the ex-husband of a supporter of Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, as OFR’s general counsel.
“Analyzing the competent record evidence, the court finds the Plaintiff cannot prove the existence of a criminal enterprise, much less one with a shared common purpose of making money for its members through the ‘pay to play or else’ scheme alleged,” the ruling from Judge John Cooper states.
“Plaintiff admitted there is no direct evidence of the enterprise or its purpose and none of the persons allegedly involved admit the existence of such an enterprise, their membership, nor a ‘pay to play’ scheme.”
As evidence, Rubin pointed to texts from Mitchell suggesting Grippa for the general counsel job, a phone call with Mitchell expressing anger at Rubin’s decision not to hire him, Mitchell’s push to get Rubin to resign or face sexual harassment allegations and Mitchell’s help with one of the alleged victims in making her complaint.
But none of that evidence rises to the level of a crime, Judge Cooper ruled.
“These acts of political expedience are not crimes, even if they may be seen as dishonest or distasteful, as they lack the requisite use of intimidation, physical force, threats, misleading conduct or offers of pecuniary benefit required for criminal conduct,” the ruling states.
The ruling also rebutted the allegations of a “pay to play” scheme, in which Rubin claimed pressure was put on his father to make a political donation.
“None of the innocuous communications from Mitchell to others discussing campaign contribution strategy and fundraising efforts recommended or evidenced bribery,” Cooper wrote.
August 30, 2022 at 12:30 pm
Yeah need pay to play with greasy Fat Cammack repugnant face sit 🍩😂
August 30, 2022 at 1:08 pm
Could a moderator please remove Charlie Crist from this forum as his/her posts are personal attacks mixed with vulgarity.
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