By BRUCE COLLIER
Walton County Commissioner Scott Brannon and the state of Florida have entered into a joint stipulation regarding allegations that Brannon violated Florida Commission on Ethics rules regarding financial disclosures.
The ethics question was raised following a complaint filed by a private citizen. That complaint listed 17 counts regarding Brannon’s alleged failure to disclose his ownership interests, and other alleged violations.
According to the terms of the stipulation, Brannon will pay a $300 civil penalty for misrepresenting his 2003, 2005 and 2006 financial reports, including not reporting a certificate of deposit or Brannon’s 50-percent ownership interests in Four Mile Land Co. and FR Industries, two entities based in Freeport.
The acceptance of the stipulation means that there will be no probable cause hearing in the issue of whether Brannon’s conduct constituted a violation of the financial disclosure law.
Brannon’s attorney, Clay B. Adkinson of DeFuniak Springs, issued a written statement on Sept. 5, following the settlement. The statement reads:
“Walton County Commissioner Scott Brannon agreed to settle a complaint filed with The Florida Commission on Ethics by paying a fine of $300. Upon learning of technical mistakes in prior documentation, Commissioner Brannon filed amended disclosures with the State of Florida.
“The settlement reached with The Florida Commission on Ethics resolves this matter without a probable cause finding that Brannon intended to violate the financial disclosure law. The complaint alleged that Brannon had failed to make proper disclosure of his financial interests.”
Included in Adkinson’s written release is a quote from Brannon:
“I am pleased that the Ethics Commission’s review of this matter resulted in a settlement without a finding of probable cause on these allegations. The mistakes alleged by this complaint were identified and corrected prior to the agreement. I am happy that the state of Florida recognized that full disclosure has been made and that I did not conceal any financial interests.”