Rick Scott illegally used on-duty police officers as props at a campaign event (UPDATED with video)

From the American Bridge 21st Century (via YouTube), 07/11/2014:

From the Tampa Bay Times, 07/10/2014:

A police union official filed a complaint Thursday with the Florida Elections Commission, accusing Gov. Rick Scott of illegally coercing on-duty police officers to attend a campaign event in Tampa on Monday.

The complaint was filed by Jeff Marano of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, a union supporting Scott’s leading Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist. Marano is president of the PBA’s Broward County chapter.

Under Florida law, it’s a first-degree misdemeanor for a public official to “directly or indirectly coerce” any employee to engage in political activity, and employees are prohibited from doing so while working.

From the Tampa Tribune, 07/07/2014:

At least a half-dozen on-duty law officers in uniform took part in a [Tampa] re-election event Monday for Gov. Rick Scott despite Florida laws saying public employees must avoid political activity during working hours.

… the Tampa event provided Scott with a backdrop of uniformed law officers him as local TV news crews filmed him talking about reductions in crime during his administration. …
Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee wasn’t available for comment, but Chief Deputy José Docobo said Previtera was unaware the gathering was a political campaign event.

“When he got back he briefed me that to his surprise it was a campaign stop as opposed to just the governor holding a press conference on crime, which is what Col. Previtera understood when he went,” Docobo said.

“Under those circumstances neither he nor the deputies would have been there. It is our policy not to attend political events in uniform or on duty.”

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