Florida West Coast
Jennifer L. Hamey Esq.
So at this point, if you don't already know, you may be asking what did this Vanessa Baugh person do? Well, I have attached the below complaint that I filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics outlining exactly what, in my opinion, she did wrong to violate Florida laws, Administrative laws and the Florida Constitution while in her role as a public official. Now disclaimer: this is just my personal complaint that I filed, and the matter is pending. There has been no outcome at this point.
Now at the end of the day, will these steps I've taken result in any action being taken place against Vanessa Baugh? I don't know. But I can sleep well at night knowing I took the responsibility to speak out about something that I think was really wrong. I have done everything I can do at this point to spread the word and inform people. Because remember, this issue is not about politics...it's about ethics!
The text below is from the Formal Ethics Complaint and was created using a PDF to Microsoft Word Converter. It is a reasonable rendering but should NOT be relied on for legal or professional reference.
P. 0. Drawer 15709, Tallahassee, Florida 32317-5709
"A Public Office is a Public Trust"
1. PERSON BRINGING COMPLAINT:
Name: Jennifer L. Hamey Telephone Number: (941) 932-6217
Address; 3815 US Highway 301 North
City: Ellenton, County: Manatee, State: FL Zip Code: 34222
Use a separate complaint form for each person you wish to complain against:
Name: Vanessa Baugh Telephone Number: (941) 745- 3703
Address; PO Box 1000
City: Bradenton, County: Manatee, Zip Code: 34206
Title of ofﬁce or position held or sought: Manatee County Commissioner
Please provide a full explanation of your complaint, describing the facts and the actions of the person named above and why you believe he or she violated the law. Include relevant dates and the names and addresses of persons whom you believe may be witnesses. Please do not submit more than 15 pages, including this form. Please do not submit video or audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, flash drives or other electronic media; such material will not be considered part of the complaint and will be returned.
person bringing this complaint, do swear or afﬁrm that the facts set forth in
the foregoing complaint and attachments thereto are true and correct to ﬁttest
of my knowledge and belief.
MEMORANDUM – COMPLAINT
I. ISSUES FOR CONSIDERATION
1. Did Respondent violate Florida Statute 112.3 1 3(6), Misuse of Public Position, by ignoring the county‘s lottery system for the Covid—19 vaccine distribution and instead unilaterally picking two zip codes in her district to receive 3,000 additional vaccines issued by the State, to the detriment of all other Manatee County residents 65 and over who had signed up for the lottery system?
On or around early February, 2021, Vanessa Baugh (hereinafter referred to as "Respondent") was approached by Governor DeSantis with an offer of 3,000 additional vaccines to be used for Manatee County at a pop-up location in Lakewood Ranch, speciﬁcally Premier Sports Campus. Interestingly, that location is owned by Manatee County as a park, not any individual ownership.
A. Florida Statute 112.313: Standards of conduct for public ofﬁcers.
Pursuant to 112.3 13(1), Respondent qualiﬁes as a public ofﬁcer subject to the requirements of this section as she is a "person elected or appointed to hold ofﬁce in any agency. . .“. Respondent was reelected as Manatee County Commissioner, District 5, on November 3, 2020 and was sworn into the position on November 17, 2020.
The second instance of violating 112.313(6) occurred just days later when after already excluding over 140,000 residents from a chance at the 3,000 vaccines (only 7,285 of the approximately 150,000 signed up residents for the lottery lived in 34202 or 34211, See Attached Exhibit C), Respondent created a "VIP" list to insure that she and several friends and neighbors got vaccines out of those 3,000 that were provided by the state. As shown in Exhibit A, two of the parties that she listed on her "VIP" list didn't even live within the two zip codes that she chose as the ones to get the vaccine!
3. Â§34-18.00113)(c) and (d): The degree to which the interests of all those who would experience the benefit are affected is substantial and greatly more advantageous compared to others. Millions of people are waiting to get a vaccine during a pandemic that has crippled our nation for almost a year. Respondent used her position of power to bypass every one of her constituents who have been following the rules put in place by her and the other commissioners to jump to the head of the line and receive a vaccine. Furthermore, Respondent chose to forego the needs of the rest of the county, all of whom she has an equal duty to same as her own district, to put the needs of her own constituents in front of all the others entered into the lottery system.
4. Â§34-18.001(3)1e): There was zero degree of uncertainty! Respondent knew from the very beginning her actions took away over 3,000 vaccines to the majority of those in the county lottery pool, for the benefit of two zip codes. Further, Respondent knew from the very beginning that it was completely wrong to add herself and several friends to a "VIP" list to insure they received the vaccine. By engaging in this course of action, she took the opportunity away for there to be an equal likelihood of all people in the lottery to get picked for the 3,000 extra available doses.
County Commissioner with six other individuals. In neither instance was what she did available to any of those persons. Neither the residents of Lakewood Ranch nor the other commissioners were given an option to pick zip codes to get the extra 3,000 vaccines nor did they have the opportunity to be put on a "VIP" list.
Section (8)(h)(2) of the Florida Constitution is that the ofﬁcer acted with a wrongful intent for the purpose of obtaining a beneﬁt which is inconsistent with the proper performance of her public duties. Respondent is an elected ofﬁcial who was voted in to serve as a Manatee County Commissioner. While she was voted in by her District, which is not comprised of the entire county, she is still obligated and has a duty to serve the needs of the ENTIRE county. Respondent intentionally chose not to do that. The exhibits attached to this complaint, as well as by Respondent's own admissions, clearly reﬂect poor judgment and an intentional failure to avoid a disproportionate beneﬁt to herself, her friends and to the residents of 34202 and 34211.
Florida Constitution, Article II, Section (8)(h)(2) states in pertinent part that a public ofﬁcer shall not abuse her position in order to obtain a disproportionate beneﬁt for herself. This Article and Section further outlines that an independent commission shall conduct investigations and make public reports and that said commission shall be this Florida Commission on Ethics.
Complainant will not re-address all of the arguments regarding abuse of power under this section as they have been adequately addressed in the paragraphs above.
1 Complainant notes that Section (8)(h) was previously designated Section (8)(g). And while all remaining amendments to this Section shall not take effect until December 31. 2022, the pertinent one to this matter did take effect on December 31, 2020.
Respondent is an elected ofﬁcial, speciﬁcally a Manatee County Commissioner. When
Respondent took the position she was aware, or should have been aware, of her responsibilities under the Florida Statute, Florida Administrative Code and the Florida Constitution to never misuse her position of power for her beneﬁt or the beneﬁts of friends and family.
Sent: Monday, February ‘15, 2021 12:58 AM
To: Jacob Saur
Subject: Names for lis
Names for vaccination requested
Robert E. Keehn. III,
Marie E. Keehn,
Sent from my iPad
From: Vanessa Baugh
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2021 6:57 PM
To: STEPHEN MILLER
Subject: Re: COVID POP—UP LAKEWOOD RANCH
Mr Miller, I did have a lack of judgment, however I did not have the vaccine and there were 200 more vaccines added today. I do hope that you and your wife will get it soon.
Sent from my iPhone
I AM A RESIDENT IN THE 34211 ZIP CODE OF LAKEWOOD RANCH. MY WIFE AND I ARE BOTH 72 AND HAVE HEALTH ISSUES. WE HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING TO GET THE VACCINE. WE ARE REGISTERED WITH MANATEE COUNTY AND READ IN THE OBSERVER THAT THE POOL IS AS FAIR A SYSTEM AS YOU CAN
HAVE SINCE ALL REGISTRANTS ARE SELECTED AT RANDOM BV COMPUTER WITH NO HUMAN INTERVENTION.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10 1
From: Jacob Saur
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2021 1:53 PM
To: Vanessa Baugh
Subject: Zip codes
Director of Public Safety
Manatee County Government
PO. Box 1000 Bradenton, FL 34206
The text from the Formal Ethics Complaint and was created using a PDF to Microsoft Word Converter. It is a reasonable rendering but should NOT be relied on for legal or professional reference.
This post is contributed by Jennifer L. Hamey Esq. The views expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of BayPost Internet or any publications, blogs, or social media pages where it may appear.