Based on a complaint dismissed by the Miami-Dade ethics commission yesterday, elected officials can use taxpayer resources to make campaign ads. Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman will not be punished for using snippets of a city-made video that included footage from his state of the city address for a reelection campaign ad last fall. According to Ethics Commission Advocate Michael Murawski, there was no wrongdoing on Bateman's part even though his campaign consultant, Frank May, was involved in the video's production.
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The flap all started when the city's public information office contracted videographer Jorge Delgado to film the state of the city address this past September 27, plus additional footage of projects around the city championed by Bateman. Delgado subsequently sued the city when he was not paid $8,200 owed to him.
The city settled Delgado's lawsuit, but Homestead resident Pat Pascuzzo filed the ethics complaint. Murawski concluded Bateman did not violate the county's ethics and conflict of interest ordinance.
According to Murawski, since May paid the $500 for the campaign video from Bateman's campaign account, there was no violation. The advocate also noted that the state of the city address is a public record, making it available to any citizen and it may be used for a lawful purpose, including use in a political campaign.
Pascuzzo v Bateman 10 11 12 and 14