The Real Deal Miami

Former Boca mayor will contest state ethics charges involving developers

The Florida Commission on Ethics alleged that Susan Haynie concealed income from two developers while casting votes favoring them. She has pleaded not guilty to similar criminal charges
October 27, 2018 03:30PM

Former Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie (Credit: WPTV)

Former Boca Raton mayor Susan Haynie will contest a report by the Florida Commission on Ethics alleging that she voted on projects by real estate developers James and Marta Batmasian without disclosing income from them.

Haynie’s attorney told the Palm Beach Post that she will request a hearing on evidence before the state ethics commission, which claimed that she committed at least eight violations of state law.

Her attorney Bruce Zimet told the Post that Haynie, 68, will fight the state commission’s allegations as she defends herself against similar allegations in criminal court.

Haynie unsuccessfully asked the state ethics commission to delay its review of allegations against her until the conclusion of her criminal case, according to Zimet, who contends that the commission acted on a one-sided story.

The commission found probable cause that Haynie failed to report income, as required, on state financial disclosure forms, including income from the Batmasians.

According to a report by a state ethics investigator, Haynie “intentionally concealed several years’ worth of business and financial dealings with James and Marta Batmasian” while voting on their Boca Raton real estate projects.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has charged Haynie with four felonies and three misdemeanors that are similar to the allegations by the state ethics commission.

Haynie pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges, and she is not negotiating a plea with the state attorney, according to Zimet. [Palm Beach Post]Mike Seemuth