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Ron DeSantis is facing another ethics complaint — this time accusing him of accepting a $235,000, 3-day retreat to the Four Seasons Palm Beach

Ron DeSantis at church podium, hands out, with stained glass behind himFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

  • Democrat Nikki Fried filed an ethics complaint on DeSantis accusing him of “accepting prohibited gifts.”
  • The complaint accused DeSantis of going on a $235,000 donor-funded retreat at the Four Seasons Palm Beach.
  • On March 14, Trump’s super PAC, MAGA Inc., filed a similar ethics complaint against DeSantis.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been hit with another ethics complaint — this time, from Nikki Fried, the Democratic Party chair in Florida.

Fried tweeted a copy of her complaint on Monday. In her tweet, she accused DeSantis of improperly using funds from donors and “accepting prohibited gifts” from the DeSantis-linked political action committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis.

In her complaint to the Florida ethics commission, Fried, the state’s former commissioner of agriculture, outlined what she believes to be an inappropriate use of funds from the DeSantis-linked PAC.This included, per Fried’s complaint, more than $235,000 spent on a three-day retreat to the Four Seasons Palm Beach in February.

More than 150 people including DeSantis supporters and donors were invited to Florida in February for a weekend retreat, per Politico. The guest list included Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton. The event was meant to celebrate the launch of DeSantis’ book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint,” Politico reported. 

According to campaign finance records seen by Insider, the $235,244.52 paid to the Four Season Palm Beach on February 21, 2023, was logged as an event expense. 

Fried also cited other expenses from the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC as evidence of spending that was “not primarily related to contributions, expenditures, or other political activities” allowed under state law. This included a bill from the Four Seasons Miami, and a receipt for a meal at a Miami steakhouse called the Dirty French, per Fried. 

Insider saw campaign finance records from the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC that logged a $142,388.65 payment to the Four Seasons as a meeting expense. The finance records also designated a $11,805.90 bill from the Dirty French steakhouse as a food and beverage expense. 

“Florida law prohibits Ron DeSantis or a member of his immediate family from soliciting or knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, any gift from a political committee,” Fried wrote in her complaint. 

—Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) March 27, 2023



On March 14, Make America Great Again Inc., a super PAC linked to former President Donald Trump, filed a similar ethics complaint against DeSantis.

MAGA Inc.’s complaint accused DeSantis of soliciting and receiving “millions of dollars worth of illegal gifts in violation of Florida State ethics laws and the Florida Constitution,” per a copy of the document obtained by NBC News

A DeSantis spokesperson denied both MAGA Inc. and Fried’s allegations in a tweet on Monday. 

“Just like the one from two weeks ago, we’ll just add this to the list of frivolous & politically motivated attacks,” DeSantis’ spokeswoman Taryn Fenske tweeted, responding to Fried’s complaint. “Louder for the Dems in the back: It’s inappropriate to use ethics complaints for partisan purposes.”

DeSantis has not officially announced a 2024 presidential bid, but he will be Trump’s biggest rival if he does choose to run

Fried and a spokeswoman for DeSantis did not immediately reply to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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