TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A public corruption scandal in a rural Florida elections office just an hour west of the state capital reveals how easily federal dollars meant for election security can be diverted to cover up malfeasance, a government watchdog says.
The former elections supervisor in the panhandle’s Liberty County is charged with using election security funds to hide $42,000 in personal spending sprees – a potential accountability problem in any small office where one person holds the purse strings and nobody else is watching, observers said. The case’s first hearing is Monday.
The lack of oversight was exacerbated by a state-mandated nondisclosure agreement supervisors had to sign to get the election security money in the first place, they said.
“Especially when funds are meant to be used for a certain purpose, there needs to be transparency to let the public know the funds were used for the purpose given,”