Ethics review clears Ron Bergeron and Gov. Ron DeSantis quickly appoints him to powerful water board

The Florida Commission on Ethics gave its blessing Friday morning to Ron Bergeron serving on the powerful board that governs South Florida water supplies and restoration of the Everglades.

Hours later, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Bergeron to the board of the South Florida Water Management District.

“He has devoted his life to the protection and restoration of our Everglades and water resources. I look forward to his leadership and the contributions he will bring to the district,” DeSantis said in a statement.

The Ethics Commission, meeting in Tallahassee, voted 8-0 to adopt an advisory opinion clearing the way for Bergeron’s appointment after its general counsel Chris Anderson gave an overview of a detailed staff recommendation spelling out Bergeron’s business activities and how he can avoid ethical problems while serving.

Anderson said Bergeron would “have to refrain from voting on any matter or participating in any matter that would affect him and his companies.”

Bergeron’s attorney, Ed Pozzuoli, chief executive of the Fort Lauderdale-based Tripp Scott law firm, was present but wasn’t questioned. “I stand here before you open-handed and fully transparent,” Pozzuoli told commissioners.

Anderson referred to Bergeron on Friday morning as someone who “may very well become a member” of the agency’s board. DeSantis had said in January he intended to appoint Bergeron to the water management district board, but delayed an official move so his interests could be examined for potential conflicts.

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