Sheriff Rambosk one of four millionaires in elected Collier County office

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Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott

NAPLES _ One of Southwest Florida's sheriffs is a millionaire. The other appears to be moonlighting, at least at first blush.

Those were some of the revelations in Collier and Lee county officials' 2011 financial disclosure forms when the Daily News recently examined them.

State law requires constitutional officers like county commissioners, School Board members and the Clerk of Courts to report their assets and liabilities to the Florida Commission on Ethics each year by July 1, with fines accumulating for those officials for every day the form isn't filed after Sept. 1. The reports reflect 2010 assets and liabilities.

"Conflicts of interest may occur when public officials are in a position to make decisions which affect their personal financial interests," according to a 2011 report by the Florida Commission on Ethics. "This is why public officers and employees, as well as candidates who run for public office, are required to publicly disclose their financial interests."

The forms revealed that Sheriff Kevin Rambosk is a millionaire, one of four Collier County officials worth $1 million or more. The others are Commissioners Fred Coyle and Georgia Hiller, and Property Appraiser Abe Skinner.

In addition to his salary and police pension from his time working for the Naples Police Department, Rambosk derives his income from rental units, according to the state's records.

"I have always believed in transparency when it comes to running a law enforcement agency and I believe in transparency when it comes to financial disclosure forms for all constitutional officers, including the office of sheriff," Rambosk said of having to disclose the information.

Across the county line, Lee Sheriff Mike Scott seemed to have two jobs. He disclosed on his form that he made $150,000 from his sheriff's salary as well as $45,000 from the Henderson Franklin Law Firm in Fort Myers.

This is the second of three days of reports on the financial disclosure forms filed by Southwest Florida public officials.

Monday: Commissioners and School Board members

CLICK here to see how much elected commissioners and School Board leaders are worth in Collier and Lee counties

Despite a few glitches, Lee and Collier county leaders account for finances

Wednesday: City Council members.

But Scott explained that he isn't moonlighting. He said his wife works for the law firm and he is named a co-beneficiary on her retirement account, which is why he declared it on his disclosure form.

As for having to tell the public what he's worth, Scott said it's the law and he will abide by it.

"Some people have money, like Mitt Romney. Some people don't ... But the law requires us to let people know what we are worth," he said.

Lee County Clerk Charlie Green said the forms question elected officials' honesty. He said when he hires people for his office, he assumes they are trustworthy.

"People think if you fill out a piece of paper, it will make you honest. In reality, the people who are dishonest can hide behind it," he said.

Still, Green said he has no problem filling out the forms.

"If you live this life, you are going to make mistakes. There is not a person alive who doesn't have faults," he said. "Sometimes I think they pass these laws to try to bend people into a perfect mold. But we all make mistakes."

Skinner said it is a good check-and-balance.

"Someone can make sure I have no interest in the properties I am appraising — that I am not benefiting from the job I am holding," he said. "But it's a pain in the butt."

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington said she understands the reason for it, but also said her position doesn't allow her to really do anything for anyone.

"It lets you know what your resources are, which is good because elections can get expensive and, if you don't have people contributing to your campaign, you will have to know how much you can let go of," she said. "Personally, I can't do anything for anyone, which makes it hard to raise money for campaigns. I can't repay favors. But I deal with it. I have an open-door policy and I have nothing to hide."

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Comments » 4

26yearsonmarco writes:

Skinner said it is a good check-and-balance.
"Someone can make sure I have no interest in the properties I am appraising — that I am not benefiting from the job I am holding," he said. "But it's a pain in the butt."
“Honest Abe” Skinner is a good example of what is wrong with the system that allows him to “Retire” on his first pension, and 30 days later, be rehired at his old salary, and start a new pension. My guess is, he is pulling over $300K per year from the “System”.
There are thousands of Florida Public Servant’s doing this, as well as others who retire from elsewhere, and continue to milk “We the People”.
This happened in NYC a few years ago, and the City was forced to pay over one thousand union employees, police, fireman, etc., a five hundred thousand dollar settlement each.
This needs to be stopped so people who need employment can be hired, instead of the people who are now millionaires, thanks to the “System”.

26yearsonmarco writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You can't be serious if you think these "Old Foxes" are irreplaceable.

This is not the American System, it is the American "Good Old Boy" System, that keeps underlings from promotion, and new people from being hired.

26yearsonmarco writes:

If anyone else doubts what I am talking about, go to this link:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/brow...

26yearsonmarco writes:

My sense tells me there will be an incresae in the "God Old Boy" system thank's to this Wink News story regarding a 42% increase in crime on Marco due to the new bridge, and the fact that "we have only 35 policemen".
http://www.winknews.com/Local-Florida...

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