29 Dec Caryl Berner fined $50. Can she pay?
The Respondent, Caryl Berner, and the Florida Elections Commission (Commission) agree that this Consent Order resolves all of the issues between the parties in this case. The parties jointly stipulate to the following facts, conclusions of law, and order:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. On or about February 22, 2013, a complaint was filed with the Commission alleging that Respondent violated the Florida Election Code.
2. The Respondent has expressed a desire to enter into negotiations directed toward reaching a consent agreement.
3. The Respondent and the staff stipulate to the following facts:
a. Respondent was a candidate for the Deerfield Beach City Commission, District 3, in the March 13, 2013 municipal election.
b. Respondent previously ran for Mayor of Deerfield Beach. During her previous campaign, Respondent purchased political advertisement signs.
c. During her current campaign, Respondent used the signs previously purchased when she was a candidate for mayor. Respondent used the signs she previously purchased, covered the old disclaimer, and added a new political disclaimer for the current election.
d. The political advertisement that appeared on two of Respondent’s sign for the 2013 election was incorrect.
e. Upon consideration of the factors set forth in 1 06.265(2), the staff and Respondent believe that the amount of the agreed upon civil penalty is appropriate to Respondent’s financial resources.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
4. The Commission has jurisdiction over the parties to and subject matter of this cause, pursuant to Section 106.26, Florida Statutes.
5. Section 106.25(4)(i)3., Florida Statutes, allows the Commission to approve a consent agreement with a Respondent prior to the Commission finding probable cause that a violation of the election laws occurred. The consent agreement has the same force and effect as a consent agreement reached after the Commission finds probable cause.
6. The Commission staff and the Respondent stipulate that staff can can prove all the facts contained in paragraph 3 above, and that he Commission’s can impose a fine in this matter.
7. The Respondent and the staff of the Commission have entered into this Consent Order voluntarily and upon advice of counsel.
8. The parties shall each bear its own attorney fees and costs that are in any way associated with this case.
9. The Commission will consider the Consent Order at its next available meeting.