Ethics commission recommends fine former Marco Island director of community affairs
The State of Florida Commission on Ethics has recommended a civil penalty for former Marco Island Director of Community Affairs Bryan Milk.
The $5,000 penalty and reprimand was recommended Sept. 7 and filed on Sept. 12 after a joint stipulation of fact, law and order was entered between the advocate for the commission and Milk.
Milk was accused of three ethics violations including:
- Failing to disclose ownership in and/or income from two private entities on the statement of financial interests during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 calendar years
- Using an official position to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself or others
- Maintaining a contractual interest with a business entity that as subject to the regulation of or had business with his own agency
The city terminated Milk's employment on Jan. 2, 2014, for not disclosing his relationship with Michael and Lisa Kelly, owners of Progressive Auto Care, while he was evaluating land use matters.
Two days prior to the termination, then-acting City Manager Guillermo Polanco suspended Milk without pay before taking permanent action after Milk was unable to attend a meeting to discuss the issues. Milk contended he was unable to attend the meeting due to bronchitis.
Although Milk sold his stake in Progressive Auto Care, he continued to hold onto a promissory note during the period that zoning decisions were made on the property.
The $5,000 fine is comprised of a $2,000 fine for failing to disclose his ownership interests and $1,500 fines for the two other violations.
The commission in June dismissed a fourth allegation that contended Milk had a prohibited relationship with a business that sold services to the city or purchased goods and services from a business he owned.