GREYHAWK LANDING — A complaint has been lodged with the Florida Commission on Ethics against GreyHawk Landing CDD supervisor Sandy McDonald, who is running for re-election.
Resident Tony Francis, one of two candidates running against McDonald for a seat on GreyHawk’s CDD board, said he filed the complaint with the commission Oct. 15. The complaint asserts McDonald personally authorized three landscaping projects without board discussion or pre-approval for a total of $7,400.
As chairman of the CDD board, McDonald is authorized to spend up to $2,500 without board approval, Supervisor Mike Plaia said. Although each of the three projects cost less than that (at about $2,450 each), the projects in total exceeded McDonald’s authority.
In his filing, Francis notes two of the “mini parks” are on the corner of McDonald’s street and the corner near the developer’s model homes.
“She did what I call creative bookkeeping,” Francis said. “It was her way of getting around that kind of expenditure. I thought, if nothing else, that was against the spirit of good ethics and handling of our finances.
“I can’t state whether or not her behavior, with respect to those things, has reached the level of legality, but certainly in terms of ethics, there’s something shaky there,” he said.
Francis had planned to drop out of the race to avoid a conflict of interest but was told by the supervisor of elections last week that his name could no longer be removed from the ballot, he said.
At GreyHawk Landing’s August CDD meeting, Supervisor Savvas Kesgiropoulos challenged McDonald’s actions, saying she used the clubhouse to hold a meeting to discuss the budget (against Sunshine Laws) and she shouldn’t have. Supervisor Mike Plaia agreed at the meeting, calling McDonald’s actions “unethical” and asking for her resignation, records show. Plaia said he also brought up the issue of the plantings at a CDD meeting, as well.
In a phone interview Oct. 20, McDonald said she had not yet been informed of the complaint and did not wish to comment without seeing the charges against her first.
“The ethics commission, as far as I’m aware, determines if the complaint is legitimate or not,” McDonald said. “I don’t think it would be appropriate (to publish anything about this until then).”
McDonald also said she had not mishandled money.
A spokesperson from the commission said complaints are exempt from public records law and she would not confirm whether a complaint against McDonald was on file. However, Francis received a letter via certified mail dated Oct. 19 from the commission stating it had received the complaint and was sending McDonald notification of it.
GreyHawk Landing resident Scott Ziegler also is challenging McDonald for her Seat 5 post.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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