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June 21st, 2016

For Immediate Release


Warren Releases Sweeping Financial and Ethics Reform Proposal for State Attorney’s Office

Tampa, FL — Andrew Warren released a series of proposals describing how he will conduct business as State Attorney.  The proposals address aspects of administrative ethics and campaign finance aimed at increasing public trust.

“Public service is a public trust,” Warren said.  “As public servants, our loyalty belongs to the law and the law alone, not to partisanship, politics, or private gain.  The public deserves nothing less.”

Warren’s proposals seek to keep politics out of the State Attorney's Office.  Specifically, Warren pledged not to solicit or accept donations from his employees.  Warren said, “I don’t want employees of the State Attorney’s Office or the public wondering whether employees are being evaluated and promoted based on political donations rather than performance of their duties.”  Warren explained that as State Attorney he would implement policies mirroring that of the U.S. Department of Justice, which prohibits giving or soliciting gifts between supervisors and subordinates.  “This is a basic standard of ethical conduct that the public rightfully expects.”

Warren also promised to prohibit employees from engaging in political activity while on government time.  “It cheats the taxpayers, and it is unfair to place that kind of pressure on any subordinate.  It will not happen under my administration.”

Additionally, Warren pledged not to accept campaign contributions from any defendant or person under investigation by the State Attorney’s Office.  His pledge follows recent criticism against Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a former employee of the State Attorney’s Office, for accepting a $25,000 donation from Donald Trump at the time her office was considering investigating fraud in connection with one of Trump’s businesses.

“When I worked at the Department of Justice, we couldn’t even accept a sandwich from an attorney representing a subject of an investigation, let alone thousands of dollars from the subject himself.  It’s a huge conflict of interest,” Warren said.  “No victim should have to worry if the scales of justice are being tipped based on someone’s political contributions.”

In a recent editorial, the Tampa Bay Times questioned the appropriateness of Bondi's conduct and whether this was accepted practice during her career at the State Attorney’s Office. 

Warren said, “This should never happen.  You need to have very clear lines that prohibit conduct that has even the slightest hint of corruption.”

Although Florida law prohibits public officials from accepting gifts with the understanding that the gift would influence official action, Warren’s proposal goes further.

“The appearance of a conflict of interest can be as harmful as an actual conflict, especially within our criminal justice system,” Warren explained.  “Even where there is no quid pro quo, the mere appearance of impropriety undermines the integrity of the system.  The public’s confidence in a fair and impartial prosecutor is paramount.”


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