Florida ethics panel approves Gov. Scott's airport greeting

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Ethics Commission says it's OK for Gov. Rick Scott to greet visitors with recorded messages at Tampa International Airport.

The panel ruled Friday that the publicity Scott would reap amounts to a gift, but that gift has no value.

State law prohibits officials from accepting gifts from lobbyists or organizations that hire lobbyists such as the airport.

The Republican governor's message would say "Tampa Bay" is a "great place to live, work and play." Among the visitors expected in Tampa this summer are delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Some commissioners had qualms about classifying the recording as a gift to the governor. They eventually agreed it would be a gift to avoid setting a precedent that could affect cases that would not be so benign.

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