STATE OF FLORIDA
COMMISSION ON ETHICS
In re DELPHINE GISSENTER, )
Respondent. ) Complaint No. 95-131
) Final Order No. COE 98-09
FINAL ORDER AND PUBLIC REPORT
This matter came before the Commission on Ethics for final consideration on the Recommended Order of an Administrative Law Judge of the Division of Administrative Hearings, the Respondent and the Commission's Advocate having received due and proper notice of this final consideration of the matter, the Advocate having filed one exception to the Recommended Order, the Respondent having filed no exception to the Recommended Order, and the Respondent and the Advocate having had the opportunity to address the Commission at this final consideration of the matter.
In her exception, the Advocate argues that the portion of the Recommended Order recommending that the Commission’s Final Order and Public Report contain a provision directing that restitution be paid to the Riviera Beach Housing Authority is not in accord with the law, inasmuch as “restitution” within the context of Part III, Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, equates to benefits received due to ethical violations, rather than constituting loss to a victim (i.e., the Housing Authority); and thus argues that the Commission’s Final Order and Public Report should direct that restitution to the State of Florida, rather than to the Housing Authority, be ordered.
Therefore, subject to the exception of the Advocate hereinafter dealt with, the Commission hereby adopts in full as its Final Order and Public Report the Recommended Order of the Administrative Law Judge, which is attached hereto and incorporated by reference.
Accordingly, the Commission on Ethics finds that the Respondent, Delphine Gissenter, as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Riviera Beach, Florida Housing Authority, violated Section 112.313(6), Florida Statutes, by using a Housing Authority credit card for her personal use.
In addition, the Commission finds that the Advocate’s exception is well-taken, and hereby accepts and grants the exception. Restitution for violations of Part III, Chapter 112, Florida Statutes, is to be paid to the general fund of the State, rather than to any particular aggrieved person or other governmental entity. See Section 112.317, Florida Statutes, and In re Michael W. Kenton, 13 FALR 1295 (Comm. on Ethics 1989).
Further, pursuant to Sections 112.317 and 112.324, Florida Statutes, and in accordance with the penalty recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge (subject to the exception granted above), it is the recommendation of the Commission on Ethics that the Governor impose a civil penalty in the amount of $3,000 (three thousand dollars) upon the Respondent, that he publicly censure and reprimand her, and that he order her to make restitution to the State in the amount of $1,400.94 (one thousand four hundred dollars ninety-four cents).
ORDERED by the State of Florida Commission on Ethics meeting in public session on Thursday, March 5, 1998.
THIS ORDER CONSTITUTES FINAL AGENCY ACTION. ANY PARTY WHO IS ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THIS ORDER HAS THE RIGHT TO SEEK JUDICIAL REVIEW UNDER SECTIONS 112.3241 AND 120.68, FLORIDA STATUTES, BY FILING A NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL PURSUANT TO RULE 9.110, FLORIDA RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE, WITH THE CLERK OF THE COMMISSION ON ETHICS, BY U.S. MAIL AT P.O. DRAWER 15709, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32317-5709 (OR BY DELIVERY TO 2822 REMINGTON GREEN CIRCLE, SUITE 101, TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32308); AND BY FILING A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF APPEAL ACCOMPANIED BY THE APPLICABLE FILING FEES WITH THE APPROPRIATE DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL. THE NOTICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL MUST BE FILED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE DATE THIS ORDER IS RENDERED.
cc: Mr. James K. Green, Attorney for Respondent
Ms. Delphine Gissenter, Respondent
Ms. Virlindia A. Doss, Commission Advocate
Mr. Owen Dixon, Complainant