Florida’s Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried has failed to timely file her 2020 financial disclosure form with the Florida Commission on Ethics (FCOE). The form was due July 1.
Max Flugrath, a spokesman for Fried said, “Commissioner Fried’s Form 6 is being finalized to ensure accuracy and will be submitted within the September 1 grace period.”
Disclosure of financial interest is required by all constitutional officers as well as candidates for constitutional offices, and is submitted through what is known as Form 6. Form 6 records a filers net worth, assets, liabilities, income, and interests in specified businesses.
Although Fried did not file by the deadline, the FCOE allows for a grace-period through September 1 that gives late filers a chance to turn in the form without accruing fines. However, after the grace period, late filers are charged $25 for each day the form is missing, for a maximum of 60 days or $1,500.
Fried is not new to controversy surrounding the disclosure of her income and financial interests. Questions have been raised regarding her 2018 income, specifically with her consulting company, Igniting Florida, which was omitted from the 2018 form.
As reported by The Florida Capital Star, Fried has filed three amendments to previously filed disclosures. Two of the amendments came days ahead of her gubernatorial campaign announcement. The amendment on January 30, 2020 added Igniting Florida as a source of $72,000 in income. And on May 28, Fried filed two amendments that significantly increased her income in 2017 and 2018.
Also, media reports have raised questions about potential conflicts based on her financial interests and her role in influencing cannabis policy. In response, Fried said, “Yes I do have stocks in a company that I earned when I was in the private sector but I do not regulate marijuana space so that’s first and foremost. Any conflict of interests that people allege to be out there doesn’t exist” and that such allegations are a “smear campaign” against her.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.