Ron Book, perhaps the most powerful lobbyist in Tallahassee, was arrested Sunday night in Broward County on DUI-related charges, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Inmate information listed with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, which is in charge of county jail security, shows Book was brought to the Broward County Main Jail after his arrest by Florida Highway Patrol on three charges — a first-offense charge of DUI, refusal to submit to a DUI test and DUI with damage to a person or property. All of the charges are misdemeanors.
On Monday afternoon, Book was preparing to be released on bonds totaling $1,500, records show.
An arrest report from the Florida Highway Patrol was not immediately available, so it’s unclear what damage allegedly occurred that led to the third charge.
Book, 66, splits his time between his home in Plantation and Tallahassee. Calls to Book were not immediately returned. A spokesperson for his daughter state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, said a statement is forthcoming.
With far fewer lobbyists working in his shop than other top-tier firms, Book has nevertheless outpaced them. Lobbying reports from the fourth quarter of 2018 show that Book’s firm took in between $1.8 million and $3.6 million in fees, more than any other lobbying group in the capital. The No. 2 lobbying firm for the fourth quarter, Ballard Partners, lists 18 Tallahassee lobbyists on its website; including himself, Book’s firm employs just three.
Book’s clients include large Florida-based corporations such as Ashbritt and AutoNation, nonprofits such as Best Buddies International, and a wide array of local governmental entities, including Broward and Miami-Dade counties, at least 20 cities, and school boards and hospital districts.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.