Tallahassee, Florida -- The State Ethics Commission is taking action against the man who headed the agency that handed Tampa state Rep. Jamie Grant's company millions of dollars of public money.
Jim See was the man who chaired the Hardee County Industrial Development Agency, which approved giving the money, but the auditor general said Grant and his company didn't qualify to receive it.
That's because when Grant applied for the public money, he had no company and no product . However, his Lifesynch technologies received an initial $2.6 million and got even more.
Among the issues that caused concern in Hardee County included the fact that See's son was hired by Grant's company and paperwork indicates See's nephew's, state Rep. Ben Albritton and his brother Joe were part owners of the company.
Two years ago when 10 News said to See, their company (meaning the Albritton's) received millions of dollars, he said, "No they didn't!"
We replied, "They didn't receive $2.6 million." See said, "They did, the company, not them personally."
When we asked if he had a problem with giving money to a company that his nephews appeared to be involved in he said over and over, they personally didn't receive the money, but the company did.
When we questioned See about his son being hired by Grant's company, he took umbrage to the question by saying we were implying "I threw in my two cents and said you need to hire my son or we are not going to give you the money."
When we asked if it might look suspicious that his son was hired, See told us, "Just like when I've told everyone else the truth, they don't want to hear the truth."
But the truth is See agreed to a compromise accepting a finding of guilty and $1,500 fine on two of the charges against him. In return, the Ethics Commission would drop the other charges. His attorney says the compromise probably didn't please either side, but it was the best outcome under the circumstances.