Note: We’ve been notified that the complainant is not prohibited from disclosing the complaint so we reposted the earlier post.
Former Escambia County Commissioner Wilson Robertson today has filed an ethics complaint against County Commission Chairman Doug Underhill over the chairman establishing a legal defense fund.
From the complaint:
“Commissioner Douglas Underhill, who is a sitting commissioner in Escambia County filed to run for reelection, asked the Commission to reimburse him for over $7,000 in legal fees to defend a lawsuit that was filed before he was elected. It was for a personal action, and the board voted it down.
He also asked for the County to approve an advance of $10,000 to defend another personal lawsuit that was filed this year for an action that occurred before he was elected. The board was advised by the County attorney and the Clerk’s office that it might be illegal. The board voted to send the request to the Attorney General for an opinion.
Now he is setting up a legal defense fund to ask for donations (gifts) from the same constituents he is currently serving and is also seeking campaign contributions from these same constituents
Is this ethical?”
Point of Clarification: The lawsuit was filed in April 2015, five months after Commissioner Underhill took office. See more.