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Appointee To State Environmental Board Faces Environmental Ethics Complaint

Before leaving the governor's mansion for the U.S. Senate, Rick Scott filled more than 70 positions. It includes a Bradenton man facing an environmental ethics complaint.

The last-minute appointments included Carlos Beruff to the board of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

If his name sounds familiar, it may be because he challenged Marco Rubio for Senate in 2016. He also resigned from the Southwest Florida Water Management District board after voting to approve a friend's plan to destroy an acre of wetlands for a development. An administrative law judge recommended against issuing the permit, which allowed developer Pat Neal to remove mangroves and fill wetlands in order to build a family compound on Perico Island.

Beruff faces an ethics commission complaint for that by the environmental group Manasota-88. Glen Compton is its director.

"There are a lot more people far more qualified to serve on the commission than Carlos Beruff is," Compton said. "He's not necessarily the person that has a high integrity when it comes to environmental decisions that he's made in the past."

Manatee County officials investigated Beruff's company for destroying a public conservation area and another of his developments has been accused of moving an eagle's nest without permission.

Beruff was also named by Gov. Scott as chair of the Constitutional Revision Commission, which was responsible for sending nearly a dozen Constitutional amendments to the Florida ballot in November.

Copyright 2019 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.