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REPORT OF INVESTIGATION Consolidated Complaint Number 17-092 NOTICE CONCERNING CONFIDENTIALITY ‘This report of investigation concerns an alleged violation of Chapter 142, Part Il, Florida Statutes, or other breach of public trust under provisions of Article I, Section 8, Florida Constitution. The Report and any exhibits may be confidential (exempt from the public records law) pursuant to Section 112,324, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 34-5, F.A.C., the tules of the Commission on Ethics. Unless the Respondent has waived the confidentiality in vwriting, this report will remain confidential until one of the following occurs: (1) the complaint fs dismfssed by the Commission; (2) the Commission finds sufficient evidence to order a public hearing; or (3) the Commission orders a public report as a final disposition of ‘the matter. STATE OF FLORIDA COMMISSION ON ETHICS Post Office Drawer 15709 Tallahassee, Florida 32317-5709 REPORT OF INVESTIGATION TITLE: ALEX DIAZ de la PORTILLA Candidate for Florida Senate, District 40 Miami, Florida COMPLAINT NO: 17-092 INVESTIGATED BY: ban Cot _ A. Keith Powell Distribution: Commission on Ethics Respondent Advocate File ALE Executive Director afNk Date REPORT OF INVESTIGATION COMPLAINT NO. 17-092 (1) The complaint in this matter was filed by Mr. Juan-Carlos Planas of Miami, Florida, Who alleges that the Respondent, a candidate for Florida State Senate District 40, Alex Diaz de la Portilla, violated the Code of Bthics for Public Officers and Employees. The Respondent's bid for the Florida State Senate District 40 seat ended on July 25, 2017, when he ‘was defeated in the Republican primary. 2) The Complainant alleges that the Respondent failed to make eccurate disclosures on his 2016 CE Form 6, Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests (pages six through ight of the complaint), as to his assets, liabilities, and/or net worth. (3) The Executive Director of the Commission on Ethics noted that based upon the information provided in the complaint, the above-referenced allegation is sufficient to warrant a preliminary investigation to determine whether the Respondent's actions violated Article Il, Section 8, Florida Constitution, and Section 112.3144 (Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests), Florida Statutes. (4\ The Complainant alleges that the Respondent loaned his campaign account over $430,000, yet he listed no bank accounts with significant amounts of cash when he filed his CE Form 6 as a candidate on May 30, 2017. While the Respondent listed a home with equity on his CE Form 6 disclosure, the Complainant alleges that the home was in foreclosure at the time (pages 10 through 15 of the complaint) and therefore, it would be impossible to use the home as collateral on eny loan, Finally, the Complainant notes that the Respondent listed a Schwab investment account as an asset without disclosing the individual investment products contained in the account. (5) _ The Deparment of State, Division of Elections online records confirm that between May 8, 2017, and July 20, 2017, the Respondent personally contributed $443,500 to his campaign. However, as of May 25, 2017—the date the Respondent chose for his reporting date—he had only loaned his campaign $50,000. This was in two loans of $25,000 each, on May 8 and May 25, according to Division of Elections online records. The Respondent did not report these loans as liabilities on the CE Form 6 he filed as a candidate and the only bank account he disclosed at the time held a reported $2,536. Note: The instructions to the 2016 Form 6 call for the filer to list his or her liabilities as of the date the filer chose for his or her net worth. (©) __ Im his disclosure the Respondent listed the following assets: $30,000 in houschold goods and personal effects; a home lovated at 1519 8.W. 19th Street in Miami, valued at $603,357; a "Charles Schwab IRA" valued at $5,738; a "Charles Schweb One" account valued at $69,794; a "M.F.S.Mutual Fund" velued at $2,700; a business (First Stone Management, LLC) valued at $300,000; and a "UnitedBank” bank account containing $2,536. The Respondent failed to list any individual investment products in his Schwab IRA ot Schwab One account. Note: The instructions to the 2016 Form 6 state: Note that the product contained in 9 brokerage account, IRA, or the Florida Colloge Investment Plan, is your assct—not the account or plan itself. (7) The Dade County Propery Appraiser’s website lists the 2017 market value of the Respondent's home (located at 1519 S.W. 19th Street in Miami) 2s $338,929, which is $264,428 below the value reported by the Respondent in his disclosure. (8) __ The Respondent's attorney, Benedict P. Kuehne, was contacted a number of times in an effort to schedule an interview with the Respondent and to discuss whether the Respondent planned to file an amendment to his disclosure. Ultimately, the Respondent's attorney wes given a date certain for the Respondent to either schedule an investigative interview and/or complete his amended disclosure. However, no response was received from Mr. Kuehne by the deadline, END OF REPORT OF PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION FLORIDA Florida Commission on Ethics COMMISSION ON ETHICS P. O. Drawer 15709, Tallahassee, Florida 32317-5709 JUL 81 207 "A Public Office isa Public Trust" COMPLAINT 17-092 ORIGINAL 1, PERSON BRINGING COMPLAINT: RECEIVED Name Juan-Carlos Planas, Es. TelephoneNumiber: 305-531-2424 ‘Address: 600 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1715 City: Miami County: Miami-Dade State. Florida ZipCode: 33131 2. PERSON AGAINST WHOM COMPLAINT IS BROUGHT: Use a separate complaint form for each person you wish to complain against: Name: Alex Diazde la Portilla Telephone Number: 786-523-9217 ‘Address: 481 Northwest 22nd Steet City, Miami County: Miami-Dade Zip Code: 33142 Title of office or position held or sought: Site Senator, District 40 3. STATEMENT OF FACTS: Please provide a full explanation of your complaint, describing the facts and the actions of tho person named above and why you believe he or she violated the law. Include relevant dates and the names and addresses of persons whom you believe may be witnesses. Please do not submit more than 15 pages, including this form. Please do not submit video or audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, flash crives or other electronic media; such material will not be considered pert of the complaint and wil be retumed. “CATH STATE OF Londo. COUNTY OF i fea |, the person bringing this complaint, do cont affirmed) end subscribed before me this 2 swear of affirm that the facts set forth in Gye STON : the foregoing complaint and attachments. 5-\-) y 5 thereto are true and correct to the best of | 20-11. by BACs Plana my knowledge angtselief, SIGNATURE OF COMPLAINANT (Pint Type, or Stamp Commssionsa Wane SNOT Public) (CE FORM 5)—Efecive January 9, 2017 Personally Known _}q OR Produced Identification __ Incorporetec by referencein Rule 34-7 010(1)(0).FA.C. Type of Identification Produced: COMPLAINT AGAINST ALEX DIAZ DE LA PORTILLA WITH THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON ETHICS Alex Diaz de la Portilla is a candidate for Florida State Sonate, District 40. [See Exhibit “AS, qualifying paperwork of Alex DiazdclaPottilla.] As part of his qualifying paperwork, Diaz. cla Portilla filed his Form 6 Financial Disclosure Statement. [See Exhibit “B”, Form 6] As per ES, §112.3144, Diaz de la Portillais required to make a full end public financial disctosure of all assets and liabilities, including any significant cash on hand as well as any asserts that can be liquefied, including stocks and bonds. Based on the fact that he has lent his State Senate Campeign $435,500, he has obviously not done so in accordance with the manner the law requires her fo do %. In his Form 6, Diaz-de la Portilla lists no bank accounts with significant amounts of cash. While Diaz de la Portilla lists a home with equity in his Form 6, that homo is in foreclosure and thus the equity in the home would be impossibe to be placed as collateral on any Ioan. (See Exhibit “C*, Foreclosure lawsuit) On his campaign finance report filed on July 21, 2017, Diaz de la Portilla reported several loans” to his campaign. (See Exhibit “D”, Coatibutions reported on July 21%) Alt in ell, nowhere in his Form 6 financial disclosure form, ¢oes Diaz de la Portilla report the ability to lend his campaign over $430,000, While $50,000 were given to the campaign before he filed his Form 6, there is no explanation as to where he found the remaining $385,500 Additionally, Diaz de la Portilla lists Schwab accounts as part of his essets without properly disclosing the individual investment products contained in his account. As per the rules set forth by the Ethies Commission, such products can be the source of potential conflicts of interest and must be delineated in the Financial Disclosure forms. As sueh, Diaz, de la Portilla has failed to make a lawful full and complete financial disclosure as required by FS. §112.3144 FLORIDA CONMISSION ON ETHICS DEC 12 tone BEFORE THE RECEIVED STATE OF FLORIDA COMMISSION ON ETHICS CONFIDENTIAL In re: Alex Diaz De La Portilla, Respondent. ‘Complaint No. 17-092 / ADVOCATE'S RECOMMENDATION ‘The undersigned Advocate, after reviewing the Complaint and Report of Investigation filed in this matter, submits this Recommendation in accordance with Rule 34-5.006(3), F. ‘RESPONDENT/COMPLAINANT Respondent, Alex Diaz De La Portilla, was a candidate for the Florida Senate, Complainant is Juan-Carlos Planas of Miami, Florida JURISDICTION The Executive Director of the Commission on Ethics determined that the Complaint was legally sufficient and ordered a preliminary investigation for « probable cause determination as to whether Respondent violated Article Il, Section 8, Florida Constitution, and Section 112.3144, Florida Statutes. The Commission on Ethics has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to Section 112322, Florida Statutes, ‘The Report of Investigation was released on December 4, 2018. ALLEGATION Respondent is alleged to have violated Article IL, Section 8, Florida Constitetion, and ection 112.3144, Florida Statutes, by filingan imccurate CE Form 6, “Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests,” for the year 2016. APPLICABLE LAW “Article Il, Section 8 Florida Constitution provides: {@) Allelected constitutional officers and candidates for au offices and, as may be determined by law, other public offcets, ‘candidates, and ‘employees shall file full and public disclosure of their financial interests. . . . (@) _‘Sehedule-On the effestive date of this amendment and until changed by law: (i). Fulland public discloewe of finencial interests shall mea” filing with the secretary of statc by July 1 of each year asworn statement showing i Mer and identifying each asset and liability in excess of $1,000 and its value together with one of the following: * . * Section 112.3144(1), Florida Statutes, provides as follows (1) An officer who is required by s. 8, Art lof the State Constitution 'o files fell and public disclosure of his orher financial interests for any calendar or fecal year shall file tht disclosure withthe Florida Commission on Ethics, ANALYSIS Respondent was a candidate for Florida State Senate District 40, (ROL 1) He filed a 2016 CE Form 6, “Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests,” a May 30, 2017. (Complaint 6- 8) Complainant alleges that Respondent filed to properly disclose his assets, liabilities, andlor net worth on his 2016 CB Form 6. (ROL 2) A review of Respondeat’s 2016 CE Form 6 indicates some inaccuracies regarding his essets. (ROI 4) The instructions for CE Form Grequire 2 the disclosure of an asst in excess of $1000 as of reporting date chosen by Respondent which was May 25,2017, (ROK 5, Complaint 6) Under Part B— Assets, Respondent failed to list the property held within investment scrounts, ‘Schwab IRA” end “Schwab One,” which are intangible properties, on his 2016 CE Form 6. (ROI 6, Complaint 6) ‘The instructions for CE Form 6 provide, “Assets also include. savestment products held in IRAs, brokerage accounts, and the Florida College Investment Flan. Note that the product contained ina brokerage account, IRA, or the Florida College Investment Plan, is your: asset—not the account or plan itself,” (ROI 6) ‘See CEO 12-10. Inaddition, aecerding to Department of State, Division of Blections’ records, Respondent personlly contributed $50,000 in the form of two $25,000 loans to his eampsfen on May 8 and 25,2017, (ROI) ‘The term “Ioan” indcees that the funds are expected to be paid beck and the Joan fale under the term “aocounts/notes receivable” which is en asset. Respondeat did not list either loan as an asset. (Complaint 6) Respondent did list a home located at 1519 8.W. 19" Street, Miami, Florida as an asset valued at $603,357. (ROI 6, Complaint 6) The instuctions for the CE Form 6 on how to value scoets provide, “Reel property may be valued at it market value for tax purposes, unless @ more courate appraisal of its fair market value is available.” The Dade County Property Apprise's website lists the home’s 2017 market value at $338,929 which is $264,428 below the value reported by Respondent on his disclosure. (ROL 7) ‘There are items that should have been properly disclosed which affected the accuracy of Respendent’s disclosure form. Therefore, based on the evidence before the Commission, 1 recommend that the Commission find probable cause to believe that Respondent violated Article Il, Section 8, Florida Constitution, end Section 112.3144, Florida Statutes. RECOMMENDATION Itis my recommendation that: ‘There is probable cause to believe that Respondent violated Article Il, Section 8, Florida Constitution, and Section 112.3144, Florida Statutes, by filing an inaccurate CE Form 6, “Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests,” for the year 2016. an Respectfully submitted this Ic)" day of Desember, 2018 IN Dred MELODY A. HADLEY Advocate for the Florida Commision on Ethics, Florida Bar No. 0636045 Office of the Attorney General ‘The Capitol, PL-01 Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1050 (850) 414-3300, Bxt, 3708