Rogers helped Underhill get an Ethics Commission opinion

The daily newspaper believes that County Attorney Alison Rogers  committed a crime when she didn’t get the Escambia County Commission to vote for her to help Commissioner Steven Barry get an advisory opinion from the State Ethics Commission.

However, the PNJ had no problem when the county attorney asked the Ethics Commission, on Underhill’s behalf, for legal advice on the commissioner forming a legal defense fund. The legal fund would be a direct financial benefit to the commissioner, offsetting his legal fees. The Board of County Commissioners didn’t vote whether she could get an opinion. No, she did it for Underhill’s personal benefit to avoid future ethics issue for him.

Rogers didn’t ask for a written opinion and got a verbal reply in less than 24 hours. She was told a 1998 opinion would apply and the donations to the fund would be considered gifts and must be reported every three months to the state.  Read PNJ, “Ex-Escambia County Commissioner criticizes Doug Underhill’s legal defense fund,” 9/30/17.

Jim Little wrote the article. I’m surprised he didn’t remind his editorial board of the precedent set by Underhill.

Then there’s the secondary attack the Rogers went before the Ethics Commission to “line her pockets.”

In the June agenda, the county attorney made it clear she would stay with FRS, would not participate in any resolution regarding the issue and would withdraw from any legal representation if the issue was litigated. She didn’t try to “line her pockets.”

“The County Attorney is an SMSC employee, but gives notice to the Board that she is not transferring to the 401a program. Further, should the Board authorize any resolution regarding this issue, she is not participating in nor receiving any resolution from the County. Should this issue result in any litigation or further proceedings, the County Attorney may be required to withdraw from representation in order to ensure there is no conflict with Florida Bar Rule 4-1.7(a)(2).”

Recap:

  • County Attorney has helped commissioners get legal opinions from the State Ethics Commission – not just Commissioner Barry.
  • The State Ethics Commission knew she was helping Barry and Underhill, not acting on the behalf of the county.
  • Rogers made a clear, unequivocal declaration she was NOT transferring to 401(a).
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4 thoughts on “Rogers helped Underhill get an Ethics Commission opinion

  1. The PNJ has been carrying Underhill’s water for years. Back in 2019, when they were throwing half the staff under the bus, he would fire off “internal” e-mails over to Jim Little for the purpose of crucifying people on social media (“make them famous” was his phrase, as I recall) and the PNJ would publish them claiming they had “obtained” them through investigative reporting. Really shoddy stuff.

  2. They had to scramble also when an employee started a go fund me so the county MD could file a SLAPP against a citizen. Underhill posted it on his commissioner page. Guess who the first three were who contributed?

    Lawsuits hang around that bunch like flies around a dog turd.

  3. Underhill has been a cancer on this county since the beginning of his term. He’s a blockhead authoritarian just like DeathSantis and we’re going to be better off with him out of office. The fruits of his selfish, self-aggrandizing conduct is ever clearer, and I would suggest to the media and the public: don’t go to sleep on this guy once he’s out of the public eye.

  4. Didn’t Jacqueline Rogers know Alison Rogers helped Commisioner Underhill get his own ethics commission opinion? A search on ECW shows she did and commented about it.. Knowing that information Jacqueline Rogers and the 3 other usual suspects all went along with commissioner Underhill’s agenda on ECW to ruin Alison Rogers and Steven Barry’s credibility because of the 401a issue. That’s just one example actual malice.

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