Dem attorney general candidate Gelber proposes statewide public corruption unit

Sep 10, 2010

Dara Kam

Palm Beach Post

State Sen. Dan Gelber is proposing a multi-agency, anti-corruption unit targeting state government fraud as part of his campaign for attorney general.

Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat and former prosecutor, wants state and federal prosecutors to go after public corruption similar to current efforts aimed at Medicaid fraud. Gelber will make the announcement at a press conference this afternoon.
Gelber’s plan would link prosecutors in the offices of the U.S. Attorney in the Northern District, state attorneys and the Florida attorney general, where he hopes to be after the Nov. 2 election against GOP nominee Pam Bondi.

Gelber’s proposal also includes ethics reforms pushed Palm Beach State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, who recently forced the resignation of Palm Beach County’s fourth commissioner, Jeff Koons. Koons was the fourth commissioner in four years to leave office for wrongdoing.

Gelber’s hoping he’ll have more luck cracking down on public corruption as attorney general than he did as a Democrat in the GOP-dominated legislature this year.
He tried but failed to convince lawmakers to pass an ethics reform package that included many of McAuliffe’s recommendations during the legislative session that ended in May.

Gelber’s anti-corruption proposals would have made it a crime for any public official to knowingly withhold information about a financial interest in something on they vote or cause to take place. They would would also have required disclosure of financial interests that could benefit a family member.

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