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December 17, 2017
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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title X
PUBLIC OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND RECORDS
Chapter 112
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES: GENERAL PROVISIONS
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F.S. 112.317
112.317 Penalties.
(1) Any violation of this part, including, but not limited to, failure to file disclosures required by this part or violation of any standard of conduct imposed by this part, or any violation of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution, in addition to any criminal penalty or other civil penalty involved, under applicable constitutional and statutory procedures, constitutes grounds for, and may be punished by, one or more of the following:
(a) In the case of a public officer:
1. Impeachment.
2. Removal from office.
3. Suspension from office.
4. Public censure and reprimand.
5. Forfeiture of no more than one-third of his or her salary per month for no more than 12 months.
6. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
7. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of which the public officer was a member or to the General Revenue Fund.
(b) In the case of an employee or a person designated as a public officer by this part who otherwise would be deemed to be an employee:
1. Dismissal from employment.
2. Suspension from employment for not more than 90 days without pay.
3. Demotion.
4. Reduction in his or her salary level.
5. Forfeiture of no more than one-third salary per month for no more than 12 months.
6. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
7. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency by which the public employee was employed, or of which the officer was deemed to be an employee, or to the General Revenue Fund.
8. Public censure and reprimand.
(c) In the case of a candidate who violates this part or s. 8(a) and (i), Art. II of the State Constitution:
1. Disqualification from being on the ballot.
2. Public censure.
3. Reprimand.
4. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
(d) In the case of a former public officer or employee who has violated a provision applicable to former officers or employees or whose violation occurred before the officer’s or employee’s leaving public office or employment:
1. Public censure and reprimand.
2. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
3. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of the public officer or employee or to the General Revenue Fund.
(e) In the case of a person who is subject to the standards of this part, other than a lobbyist or lobbying firm under s. 112.3215 for a violation of s. 112.3215, but who is not a public officer or employee:
1. Public censure and reprimand.
2. A civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.
3. Restitution of any pecuniary benefits received because of the violation committed. The commission may recommend that the restitution penalty be paid to the agency of the person or to the General Revenue Fund.
(2) In any case in which the commission finds a violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution and the proper disciplinary official or body under s. 112.324 imposes a civil penalty or restitution penalty, the Attorney General shall bring a civil action to recover such penalty. No defense may be raised in the civil action to enforce the civil penalty or order of restitution that could have been raised by judicial review of the administrative findings and recommendations of the commission by certiorari to the district court of appeal. The Attorney General shall collect any costs, attorney fees, expert witness fees, or other costs of collection incurred in bringing the action.
(3) The penalties prescribed in this part shall not be construed to limit or to conflict with:
(a) The power of either house of the Legislature to discipline its own members or impeach a public officer.
(b) The power of agencies to discipline officers or employees.
(4) Any violation of this part or of s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution by a public officer constitutes malfeasance, misfeasance, or neglect of duty in office within the meaning of s. 7, Art. IV of the State Constitution.
(5) By order of the Governor, upon recommendation of the commission, any elected municipal officer who violates this part or s. 8, Art. II of the State Constitution may be suspended from office and the office filled by appointment for the period of suspension. The suspended officer may at any time before removal be reinstated by the Governor. The Senate may, in proceedings prescribed by law, remove from office, or reinstate, the suspended official, and for such purpose the Senate may be convened in special session by its President or by a majority of its membership.
(6) In any case in which the commission finds probable cause to believe that a complainant has committed perjury in regard to any document filed with, or any testimony given before, the commission, it shall refer such evidence to the appropriate law enforcement agency for prosecution and taxation of costs.
(7) In any case in which the commission determines that a person has filed a complaint against a public officer or employee with a malicious intent to injure the reputation of such officer or employee by filing the complaint with knowledge that the complaint contains one or more false allegations or with reckless disregard for whether the complaint contains false allegations of fact material to a violation of this part, the complainant shall be liable for costs plus reasonable attorney fees incurred in the defense of the person complained against, including the costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred in proving entitlement to and the amount of costs and fees. If the complainant fails to pay such costs and fees voluntarily within 30 days following such finding by the commission, the commission shall forward such information to the Department of Legal Affairs, which shall bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the amount of such costs and fees awarded by the commission.
History.s. 7, ch. 67-469; s. 1, ch. 70-144; s. 2, ch. 74-176; s. 8, ch. 74-177; s. 2, ch. 75-199; s. 7, ch. 75-208; s. 5, ch. 82-98; s. 10, ch. 90-502; s. 10, ch. 91-85; s. 8, ch. 94-277; s. 1413, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-354; s. 13, ch. 2000-151; s. 8, ch. 2006-275; s. 2, ch. 2009-126; s. 15, ch. 2013-36.