Plantation Mayor Violated Open Government, Campaign Finance Laws: Inspector General

Stoner was elected city's mayor in November 2018

City of Plantation

Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner violated Florida's open government and campaign finance laws, Broward's Inspector General said Thursday.

An investigation found Stoner also acted beyond her mayoral authority as defined by the city code and charter after her election as mayor in November 2018, Broward Inspector General John W. Scott said.

Investigators found that Stoner improperly discussed with city council members her plans to reorganize city staff, including eliminating an ordinance-created position, Scott said. She raised the issue during a meeting that was closed to the public and despite a city council member’s voiced concern that the discussion might be violating Florida’s Sunshine Law, Scott said.

The investigation revealed a different occasion when the mayor privately discussed her reorganization plans with a single council member, Scott said.

Stoner also refused to provide records in response to a council member’s requests for her written plans for reorganization, violating the state's public record laws, Scott said.

Scott said Stoner also unilaterally created and staffed two new positions within the city, despite not having that authority under the city charter.

Stoner also violated campaign finance law during her 2018 mayoral run, when she unlawfully overdrew the campaign account and then made an illegal, post-election loan to cover the overdraft, Scott said.

Stoner then filed false campaign treasurer's reports containing substantial omissions and false entries to conceal the overdraft and illegal contribution, Scott said.

NBC 6 reached out to Stoner for comment Thursday but has yet to hear back.

Scott said his office is referring the matter to the Florida Elections Commission and the Broward Office of the State Attorney.

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