A candidate for a Florida House seat representing Cape Coral filed an ethics complaint Monday against that seat’s incumbent, GOP state Rep. Dane Eagle.
Republican candidate Jim Roach is asking the Florida Commission on Ethics to investigate whether there was a conflict of interest when Eagle voted on a construction-related bill this past session.
The bill in question dealt with building codes, permitting and funding for the Future Builders of America, which is sponsored by the Florida Builders' Association. Roach said at the time he voted for the bill Eagle was working at the Lee County Building Industry Association, which he says has ties to Florida Builders.
“My goal is to find out whether it was inappropriate or not for Representative Eagle to sponsor and vote on a bill that appears to have a connection between his employer at the time and the recipient of an appropriation in the bill,” Roach said.
Roach said at the very least Eagle should have disclosed his connection.
But, Eagle argued Florida Builders of America has a very distant connection to his former employer. He said the complaint is just election politics.
“The company I work for is autonomous, has its own board of directors, and there is no direct connection,” Eagle said. “And disclosure: you know, I am checking in with the House to see if it was necessary. If it was, it was simply an oversight. I am not withholding anything.”
The Commission on Ethics will first determine whether or not to investigate the complaint. Roach said he doesn’t know what the Commission will decide or how the complaint will affect his own campaign.