BY BUDDY NEVINS
Florida’s Commission on Ethics has found probably cause to believe Margate Commissioner David McLean misused his office corruptly, had a voting conflict and violated laws governing employment conflicts.
Ethics Commissioners found they had probable cause to believe that McLean:
(1) Violated state law concerning his employment for representing his employer before the city commission on a rezoning for an alcohol license,
(2) Violated a second state law governing misusing his office corruptly for using a city credit card for personal purchases and
(3) Violated a third state law forbidding voting conflicts when he voted to censure himself for the credit card violations.
His own censure by the Margate Commission passed on his swing vote 3-2 in March, 2012.
McLean paid back the hundreds of dollars in charges to various bars and pubs in the city.
The commissioner did win one at the ethics commission at its Jan. 25 meeting: The body found no probable cause to believe that he had a voting conflict when he voted on measures in March, April, and May 2012 that concerned City credit card use.
There will now be a further probe of McLean to determine whether he did indeed violate the three state laws. The findings will be presented to the Commission on Ethics at a future meeting.
If commissioners find he violated state law, McLean faces everything from public censure to removal from office, plus fines that range up to $10,000 per charge. Many office holders negotiate a settlement once probable cause has been found to avoid large legal fees and a possible larger fine from the commission.
McLean could not be reached for comment.