Yeager cleared of ethics complaint

Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM.

“We appreciate the Ethics Commission interpreting the law as we have,” Yeager wrote in a statement. “In my public service to Gulf County I have always followed the letter of the law and I am pleased with this outcome.

“(Yeager’s wife) Jacque and I have appreciated the outpouring of public support through this process and we are humbled by the confidence and the opportunity the citizens of Gulf County have given up through the years to serve them.”

The complaint noted that according to Yeager is employed with Preble Rish and was so prior to being elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2008.

The complaint noted that Preble Rish is the sole provider of engineering services in the county since April 1993, when what is known as a “continuing contract” for engineering services was entered into by the county and Preble Rish.

The allegations stemmed from an interpretation of Florida Chapter 112, which govern standards of conduct for public officers.

Specifically, Chapter 112.313(7)(a), cited in the complaint and a subject of a 2001 opinion from the Commission on Ethics.

“Conflicting employment or contractual relationship --No public officer or employee of an agency shall have or hold any employment or contractual relationship with any business entity or any agency which is subject to the regulation of, or is doing business with, an agency of which he or she is an officer or employee . . . ; nor shall an officer or employee of an agency have or hold any employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between his or her private interests and the performance of his or her public duties or that would impede the full and faithful discharge of his or her public duties.”

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