BocaWatch is continuing to follow and report on the developing story of Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie’s apparent conflict of interest with a local investor based in Boca Raton. Two new issues have surfaced that we are researching for more details.
- What was the source of the apparently false information provided to the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics (COE)?
- What authority did the City Attorney have to represent Susan Haynie to the COE on this matter?
In 2013, when facing an election cycle for her first term as Boca Raton Mayor and years after establishing a financial relationship with the investor, Susan Haynie asked the City Attorney to prepare a request for an advisory opinion on whether her personal business relationship would present a conflict of interest with her public trust obligation as the Mayor of Boca Raton.
The City Attorney prepared this request and received a response stating that no conflict would be created. BocaWatch reported this last week and attached the COE’s opinion.
BocaWatch’s research analysis, however, pointed out that the fact pattern submitted by the City Attorney to the COE is inconsistent with the facts identified on the public record. See http://bocawatch.org/truth-and-trust/
Having reported this last week and attached the supporting documents, BocaWatch is now asking under what authority the City Attorney was acting? The City Attorney is not the personal attorney for the Mayor. The City Attorney represents the City Council and not its individual members. Furthermore there is no attorney client privilege between the City Attorney and the Mayor as an individual.
BocaWatch has made a public records request for all the communications between the Mayor and the City Attorney and the City Attorney and the COE. The information sought may uncover what facts the Mayor provided to the City Attorney. In particular, it should show whether the City Attorney was made aware of the public record information regarding the real financial relationship between Susan Haynie and the investor. Additionally, the information may establish whether there was collusion between the City Attorney and the Mayor to deliberately misrepresent the facts to the COE to garner a favorable opinion.
The public records request has been asked to be expedited for timely publishing before the election but if history is a measurement, it will undoubtedly be delayed beyond the election.
BocaWatch has also made a request to the COE for documents that support their advisory opinion. As of this writing the documents have not been received, but are expected shortly and their content will be shared after analysis.
In summary, this article is highlighting two serious new issues that require immediate clarification:
- What was the source of the apparently false information provided to the COE?
- What authority did the City Attorney have to represent Susan Haynie to the COE?
BocaWatch will continue to investigate and report on this developing story.