Tallahassee, Florida -- Former Hillsborough County Administrator Pat Bean is fighting charges she violated state ethics laws. Bean -- who was fired after she gave herself a 1 percent raise without telling her bosses the county commissioners -- was in court Thursday, saying she didn't do anything wrong.
The State Ethics Commission found there was probable cause she violated the law. Bean could have signed a consent order like State Senator Jim Norman did last month. She would have probably received a slap on the wrist and a small fine.
However, Bean says she relied on the advice of former County Attorney Renee Lee and the County H.R. department.
Although Bean was a 30-year county employee, she told the court, "I don't know much about the process, because it was all handled by H.R. every year. All I know is I did my little piece of the accomplishments and they handled all the rest of the paperwork, including processing the results of evaluation and everything. That was done by H.R."
The judge will make a decision no sooner than 30 days after receiving the transcripts from Thursday's hearing.
Bean won a major victory earlier this year when Hillsborough Judge James Barton ruled the former administrator was entitled to a year's salary and benefits, because she was fired without cause.
Lee faces an ethics hearing next month. The County Attorney resigned before being fired.