Ethics Complaint Filed Against Woods
by Leo Coughlin
LARGO - Rodney Woods, a candidate in next week's election, has been hit with a complaint filed with the State Commission on Ethics, the Clearwater Gazette learned Tuesday.
The complaint was filed October 13 by a citizen and Largo resident named Harry Ploger and sent to Tallahassee.
Ploger's assertion is brief and succinct. It says -
"I herewith submit a complaint in regard to ethical and perhaps legal violations by Rodney J. Woods, a candidate in the current municipal election in Largo.
"Please note the attached documentation that supports this complaint.
"As you can see, Mr. Woods lists no assets or liabilities on his Statement of Financial Interests, but Pinellas County records list him as the owner of property in the city and documentation shows him encumbered with a mortgage with SunTrust."
Attached to the complaint was a copy of a document from the Property Appraiser's Office showing Woods to be the owner of property at 1863 Georgianna Street.
Also included was a copy of a mortgage amounting to $132,000 with SunTrust.
Official documents indicate that Woods paid $135,000 for the Georgianna Street property which is now, according Property Appraiser records, worth $89,000.
Another item on Woods's Statement of Financial Interests which appears to be false or erroneous is under Part F which requires the listing of "Interests" in business.
Woods says that he is the owner of a landscape company.
In his Statement of Financial Interests in Part C under Real Estate he lists "None." And in Part E under Liabilities he lists "None."
Presumably, making false statements on an official disclosure document is illegal.
Last week, when Woods made an appearance at a private Chamber of Commerce luncheon with his opponent, Curtis Holmes, in Tuesday's election, he said "If there was a problem with my financial filings how come no one has filed a complaint?"
Obviously, Woods was not aware that a complaint had indeed been filed and his verbal construction suggested that financial filing problems would only be noteworthy if there was a complaint.
The meeting last week was the only confrontation between Holmes and Woods.
Woods refused to participate in any of the traditional debates.
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