Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) reportedly accepted lavish gifts from his wealthy donors without disclosing them to ethics regulators.
Following his election but prior to his inauguration in 2018, DeSantis took at least six flights on private jets, accepted a trip to the Augusta National Golf Club, and received other lavish gifts including fine dining and lodging that weren't disclosed to the Florida Ethics Committee, according to a new report by the Washington Post.
Under Florida ethics rules, public officers are allowed to "reimburse" a donor for travel costs “the same value as an unrestricted coach fare,” which could potentially allow them to accept expensive, private flights, not spend more than a standard ticket, and not be obligated to disclose the travel.
“All travel and events you mention — from almost five years ago — were compliant and received proper payment,” Andrew Romeo, a DeSantis campaign spokesman, said in a statement to the Post. “Efforts to fundraise for state political parties and cultivate relationships with state officials are standard for political leaders, especially during an election year.”
It's unclear if the governor personally reimbursed the providers of the flights. According to documents obtained by the Post, the DeSantis campaign kept a list of donors who had access to private airfare.