Bill Filed Aimed At Sen. Maria Sachs, Others Lying About Where They Live




State Sen. Jack Latvala has stepped up his campaign against legislators who lie about where they live.

Latvala, R-Clearwater, introduced a bill on Thursday that strengthens the definition of the residency requirement for office.

Call it the State Sen. Maria Sachs bill.

Sachs appears to be the biggest offender of lying about where she lives.

A powerful Republican leader in contention for the Senate presidency and chair of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, Latvala was a strong supporter of former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale. Sachs beat Bogdanoff to win her Senate seat.

Sachs, D-Delray Beach, owns a home west of Boca Raton that is outside of her Senate district.  So she claimed she lived in a 740-foot condo in east Fort Lauderdale partially owned by lobbyist Judy Stern, a Sachs friend.

That deal blew up in Sachs’ face in a swirl of bad publicity during the 2013 Legislative session. She now lists her voters registration at a condo in Delray Beach within her district.

While in the House, Sachs contended she lived in an office.

Several other Broward lawmakers also were accused of living outside their district. They include House Minority Leader Perry Thurston and state Reps. Jared Moskowitz and Joe Gibbons.

Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, claimed to live in an apartment in Coral Springs in the district, while his wife lives in a house in Parkland outside the district.  Gibbons is a Hallandale Beach Democrat who some claim lives in Jacksonville and works for a lobbying firm in Tallahassee.

Latvala said as many as 16 legislators from both parties could be guilty of living outside their districts.

The relevant portion of Latvala’s bill is below.  The co-sponsor is state Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero.



74         Section 2. Section 111.015, Florida Statutes, is created to

   75  read:

   76         111.015 Residency; public officers.—

   77         (1) The address at which a public officer maintains his or

   78  her domicile must be used to satisfy any residency requirement.

   79  A public officer may have only one domicile at a time. The

   80  building claimed as a domicile must be zoned for residential use

   81  and must comply with all requirements necessary to obtain a

   82  certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion pursuant

   83  to applicable building codes.

   84         (2) Factors that may be considered in determining whether a

   85  public officer meets a residency requirement include, but are

   86  not limited to:

   87         (a) A formal declaration of domicile in the public records

   88  of the county.

   89         (b) A statement, whether oral or written, indicating the

   90  intention to establish a place as his or her domicile.

   91         (c) Whether he or she transferred the title to his or her

   92  previous residence.

   93         (d) The address at which he or she claims a homestead

   94  exemption.

   95         (e) An address at which he or she has purchased, rented, or

   96  leased property.

   97         (f) The address where he or she plans to build a new home.

   98         (g) The amount of time that he or she spends at property he

   99  or she owns, leases, or rents.

  100         (h) Proof of payment for, and usage activity of, utilities

  101  at property owned by the public officer.

  102         (i) The address at which he or she receives mail and

  103  correspondence.

  104         (j) The address provided to register his or her dependent

  105  children for school.

  106         (k) The address of his or her spouse or immediate family

  107  members.

  108         (l) The physical address of his or her employment.

  109         (m) Previous permanent residency in a state other than

  110  Florida or in another country, and the date his or her residency

  111  was terminated.

  112         (n) The address on his or her voter information card or

  113  other official correspondence from the supervisor of elections

  114  providing proof of voter registration.

  115         (o) The address on his or her valid Florida driver license

  116  issued under s. 322.18, valid Florida identification card issued

  117  under s. 322.051, or any other license required by law.

  118         (p) The address on the title to, or a certificate of

  119  registration of, his or her motor vehicle.

  120         (q) The address listed on filed federal income tax returns.

  121         (r) The location where his or her bank statements and

  122  checking accounts are registered.

  123         (s) A request made to a federal, state, or local government

  124  agency to update or change his or her address.

  125         (t) Whether he or she has relinquished a license or permit

  126  held in another jurisdiction.

  127         (3) An active duty military member may not be deemed to

  128  have acquired a domicile in this state by reason of being

  129  stationed on duty in this state; nor shall an active duty

  130  military member be deemed to have abandoned domicile in this

  131  state because he or she is stationed in another municipality,

  132  state, or country. However, this subsection does not prohibit an

  133  active duty military member from establishing a new domicile

  134  where he or she is stationed.

  135         Section 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.

15 Responses to “Bill Filed Aimed At Sen. Maria Sachs, Others Lying About Where They Live”

  1. Andrew Ladanowski says:

    Make a public records request for her cell phone records. The cell phone records tell you which city you were when you receive or make a phone call. Allow her to blank out who she received or dialed to ensure the request goes thru.

  2. City Activist robert Walsh says:

    But if Sachs was a Republican than this would be much to do about nothing. Latvala wanted Bogdonoff to win that seat so its time to smear Sachs. He will never bag her. Again I would bet 10g Sachs could produce a lease and w/ the IRon lady(Stern) behind the scenes calling the shots there is no way this is going to amount to much. I wish they would concentrate on issues that are important to us . Like legalize pot.($). Cash cow. Get the dice down here(casino). Get it…..


    What about toughening up on the legislators who file false financial disclosures? I loved the picture of the house where Perry claimed to live. I think Perry did one better than Maria

  4. Aletheia says:

    Add to that list Eric Haynes, Hazelle Rogers and Jared Moskowitz. All have continued to lie about their main residences! Haynes, a City Commissioner in Lauderdale Lakes, actually claimed to be living in a friend’s garage, after it was discovered that he was not living within the City!

  5. Sam The Sham says:

    Is it only Democrats that do this?

    Were they born dishonest or is it a lifestyle choice?


    Only Democrats in Broward for the obvious reason that Broward is largely represented by Democrats.

    “There are people of both parties guilty of this,” Latvala was quoted in the Palm Beach Post. “It’s a government trust issue.”

  6. Smoke=Fire says:

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!
    If our elected officials can’t even be honest about where they lay their head at night, how can we trust they aren’t lying about more important things.

    Maria Sachs famously submitted affidavits that she misplaced 84 receipts for limousine service. What else is she lying about?

    Investigate them all!

  7. Floridan says:

    I suppose one way to cut down on this problem (if it is a real problem) would be to require residency in a district at the time a candidate files for election there.

    On the other hand, in densely populated urban areas, elected officials living outside their district is, in my mind at least, just a technical violation of the law. Often they live within a few miles of the area they serve and are hardly absentee legislators.

    Moreover, if the voters within a district think a candidate who might live just outside the district (but who may have resided within in it in the recent past, or may have represented the area in a different office) is the best person to defend their interests . . . well it’s their choice.

  8. Independent says:

    Read the proposal. It needs to be stronger.

  9. modeengunch says:

    “There are people of both parties guilty of this,” Latvala was quoted in the Palm Beach Post. “It’s a government trust issue.”
    That’s a nice broad statement, perhaps made to look as if he’s not singling out devious Democrats. So who are these Republicans? Anyone know?

  10. Broward Democrat says:

    Broward County Residents need to stop voting for carpetbaggers that are not from their districts. The whole point is to put someone into office that represents the interests of the district. You cannot just attend a couple of community meetings and then understand their needs. If you don’t REALLY want to live in the district, how can you be trusted to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to represent it?

  11. Broward HGA says:

    Who cares wheter Republican or Democrat? Ridiculous that peoople take that attitude. If you are breaking the law you are breaking the law, that simple. Also, I don’t believe that it should take effect January of 2015. The law was in effect all along. The only thing that happened is they alledgedly did not adhere to the law. They should be investigated and if found guilty charged. Simple as that. There should be no leniency in adhering to the constitution, especially if it was done on purpose. And it would have had to be on purpose because these guys / gals are all aware of the requirement when they take their oath.

  12. Ana Gomez-Mallada says:

    Gotta love those Dems. They so feeeeeel the pain of others. They want to be elected to office – so they heeeeeelo them. They just don’t want to love among them.

  13. Buddy says:

    Hallandale Beach activist David Smith sent this message out to his e-mail list on Jan. 11. I thought I would share it with you:

    Bill Filed Aimed At Sen. Maria Sachs, Others Lying About Where They Live

    I was genuinely hoping there’d already be a reader comment above about
    carpetbagger Joe Gibbons, with someone wondering aloud how someone
    could possibly even consider voting for someone who wants to represent
    this part of Broward County on the County Commission even while his wife
    and children live elsewhere in the state -as they have all along, in Jacksonville
    and Lakeland.

    Joe Gibbons is NOT a pro athlete, a traveling salesman, a network news
    reporter during an election year, nor a world-class surgeon, all of whom
    have jobs that necessarily require them being away from their homes and
    families for long periods of time, and in the case of members of the military,
    for years.
    No, Joe Gibbons is merely a state legislator.
    He’s supposed to be here when he isn’t (mis)representing us in Tallahassee
    on legislative business.
    Yet I’d argue that most of the others are probably home with their families
    or at least residing in the place they call home much more often than Gibbons
    is here in this part of Broward, given that his non-legislative office is at a
    Tallahassee law firm where he’s a lobbyist.

    As most of you know, I’ve never ever been a fan of Gibbons, largely because
    of how frustratingly mediocre and unserious he was to begin with, even
    when he was just on the HB City Commission, though many overlooked
    that fact, including the local news media.

    But adding distracted by his odd family dynamic to that mix, when added
    to his being someone who has been either completely absent or silent
    about so many important issues affecting this community -the Diplomat
    RAC and the attempt by Mayor Cooper and the Cooper Rubber Stamp
    Crew to place multiple giant condos in residential and low-rise areas
    where they would be completely incompatible, getting JLAC to audit
    the HB CRA so HB residents could find out where the $80 Million
    really went the past ten years…???
    Gibbons was always MIA or MUTE.

    Why would you or I want to reward someone whose job performance for
    so many years has been SO completely and consistently unsatisfactory,
    and whom you know in advance will NOT be here as often as he ought
    to be? Exactly.


  14. Elaine de Valle says:

    It is not only Democrats. In 2011, I caught State Rep. Frank Artiles (R-South Dade) living in Pinecrest outside his district six months after the election. He had to move, but faced no other consequences. I have also written about the fact that State Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, chair of the Dade Legislative Committee, is still living at the same house he has always lived at, despite the fact that he was drawn out of the district in the last election and ran in another district. For more information on these examples,read them on my blog, Political Cortadito.

  15. HallandaleBeach Blog says:

    Buddy: Thanks for deciding to include my comments in your post on this important matter involving one of the most basic building blocks of a civil society: trustworthiness. An issue that far too much of South Florida’s news media has consciously chosen to ignore, despite the fact that it gets to the integrity of a candidate who seeks to represent us. People who seek to deceive us on such a basic aspect of their own lives are clearly not the ones who are willing to stand up for principles when they really matter on the floor or in committee hearings -and have anyone believe them.