Former Bonifay councilman dodges ethics violation allegation: Roger Brooks to run for city council in March
A former councilman and vice-mayor who resigned amid an ethics violation allegation has been cleared by the Florida Commission on Ethics and intends to run for Bonifay City Council in next month’s city election.
Roger Brooks had issued a one-line resignation letter dated Sept. 23, 2022 that simply stated, “The Bonifay City Council: Effective today I resign my position as City Councilman, Seat 3, Bonifay, Florida.” The resignation came after information circulated that former city clerk Beverly Gilley filed a complaint with the commission in January last year alleging that Brooks committed 10 separate ethics violations.
In a joint stipulation between Brooks and the commission advocate, Brooks initially admitted to having a city employee assist with a chore at his residence and no probable cause was found for the other nine allegations. Brooks faced a potential civil penalty of $1,500 in lieu of any further proceedings pending the outcome of the final hearing of the stipulation held in October.
The commission said in a press release that it granted a request to withdraw the joint stipulation between Brooks and the commission advocate entered into prior to a finding of probable cause.
The commission initially found probable cause to believe Brooks had violated the constitutional amendment prohibiting abuse of office for a disproportionate benefit and that he misused his position when he called an on-duty city employee to come to his home to place a Christmas tree on a shelf.
However, the commission said in the release that it elected to take no further action on the probable cause findings based on the particular circumstances of the matter.
Brooks told the Advertiser that he plans to run for city council but has not specified which seat he will pursue. Bonifay’s city election will be held Tuesday, March 28 with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Candidate qualifying runs from March 6 to March 10.