Ethics Commission finds several probable causes of violations by Underhill

In a closed-door meeting last Friday, the State Ethics Commission found probable cause of several violations by Escambia County Commissioner Doug Underhill regarding the misuse of his position to release confidential transcripts, misuse of his legal defense fund to solicit and accept donations from a vendor or lobbyist and failing to report those gifts.

From the report:

TALLAHASSEE—September 15, 2021—Meeting in Tallahassee on September

The Commission considered a complaint filed against Escambia County Commissioner DOUGLAS UNDERHILL.

The Commission found probable cause to believe that Mr. Underhill misused his position by publicly sharing or publishing confidential transcripts, including minutes from Escambia County Commission meetings. Probable cause also was found to believe the information he disclosed was only available to him as a public officer and gained by reason of his official position.

Probable cause was found on three allegations that related to Mr. Underhill soliciting donations through a GoFundMe page including soliciting donations from a vendor, lobbyist or principal of a lobbyist of the County, accepting prohibited donations to his personal legal defense fund from a vendor, lobbyist or the principal lobbyist of the County, and failing to disclose reportable gifts in excess of $100 on a From 9, Quarterly Gift Disclosure.

Regarding two additional allegations relating to the reporting of gifts, probable cause was found to believe Mr. Underhill failed to report on a Form 9, Quarterly Gift Disclosure, free personal legal services, provided by a law firm, as well as travel and shipping expenses provided to him by a non-profit organization.

Allegations Mr. Underhill published his GoFundMe legal defense fund to social media, solicited free legal services from a lobbyist/vendor, accepted free legal services from a lobbyist or vendor, had a conflicting employment or contracted relationship with the Pensacola Sports Association, Inc., and an allegation that Mr. Underhill solicited, and then accepted, reimbursement for travel and expenses from an organization that accepting funding from the County were dismissed with a finding of no probable cause.

 


The Florida Commission on Ethics is an independent nine-member commission formed in 1974 to review complaints filed under the statutory Code of Ethics and to answer questions from public officials about potential conflicts of interest through its issuance of advisory opinions.

If the Ethics Commission believes a violation of the law may have occurred, it may decide to hold a public hearing. If it concludes a violation has been committed, it may recommend civil penalties including removal from office or employment and fines up to $10,000 per violation.

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4 thoughts on “Ethics Commission finds several probable causes of violations by Underhill

  1. Addendum:

    Just thinking about the Venn Diagram overlap of Doug Underhill/Matt Gaetz/Donald Trump supporters and the celebration of ignorance begins to make sense…

  2. Well, this is the least surprising thing to emerge from the annals of Escambia County Commission history.

    Doug Underhill is ethically challenged and should resign his position–but he won’t because his preening pride won’t allow it.

    Doug– you got caught, again. Resign, and leave this county forever.

  3. And that ain’t the half of it, Rick.

    One of the worst things about this process of exposing the man for what he really is the last few years is to watch them drag David Bear’s name through the dirt even worse than they were already doing over on Escambia Citizen’s Watch, which is nothing more than a dirty propaganda site that has–for years–operated as a spin room for Doug’s bad actions while hurling themselves in whatever direction he tells them to jump (e.g. the Sector Plan, OLF8, Public Safety, Perdido Key Master Plan, Beach Access, and libeling people who have been trying to reveal the real sources of corruption at the County–not least of which, him).

    Even now, they’ll probably gnash their teeth and wail that it’s all a set-up, everybody’s bought, the system is corrupt, and Doug is The Only Honest Man on that Dais!!–when in effect he is one of the most crooked charlatans ever to gain an elected seat in Escambia County. He has been running his rackets here since his first trip through town, and he hasn’t changed a bit, other than a fork and knife disguise over a rotten core.

    Remember, these are just his actions that fall under the purview of the specific statutes the Ethics Commission oversees. Anybody thinking this is the sum total of his malfeasance should ask themselves what else a talented medicine man might have been up to here with a officer’s uniform, a commissioner’s pulpit, a contracting license, and a social media cult following at his beck and call.

    Now–please–think about all the times Doug roared and pontificated about the horrible, awful, no good people who were arrested on the trumped up charges that he, the Medical Director, the past Administrator, and the queen of HR disasters visited on those people. Remember when he said that he had a clemency period for people to come to him to get their certification problems solved?

    Anybody buying that now? Or any of his nonsense?

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