On the nighttime state Sen. Daphne Campbell celebrated her 60th birthday, friends and partners regaled her with dancers, dinner and a double-tiered cake and flowers at the Miami Shores Country Club. In the evening’s close, she was gifted using a striped Kate Spade handbag with diamond designs.
And someone pushed money inside.
Precisely how much cash Campbell received during the reelection campaign fundraiser is not known. But this much is: she did so in violation of state law since she reported none of it, If Campbell kept the cash.
The senator — whose long track record of missteps and investigations has made her one of the more controversial officials of Florida — says as does, the whole thing was a gag. Campbell criticized a reporter for dangling during a meeting, denying that cash was exchanged and asking her about the movie.
Of course I was joking that night. I joked! It was only a joke. What type of life can an elected official have if it’s a problem? “People can not contribute to your birthday no longer?”
Campbell celebrated her birthday by holding a fundraiser that, based on video was hosted by Miami-Dade Commissioner Jean Monestime along with her campaign writer amongst others. So as to attend attendees were told to contribute a minimum of $ 150, but were permitted to give up to $1,000, the maximum amount allowed under Florida law.
The 84-minute movie of this fundraiser includes flattering speeches, a soprano saxophone edition of John Legend’s ” You,” and choreographed dances. Next, while standing on a point toward the end of the event, Campbell is approached by Julio César Alfonso, president of health care non-profit Solidaridad Sin Fronteras, which assists doctors displaced and exiled from overseas nations become certified in the U.S.
He hands her a box, which she sticks to show that the Kate Spade purse within a plastic bag that is brown. “There is money in it!” After pulling the purse Campbell yells with a smile.
“I got the check!” Someone yells, amid laughter.
Alfonso rips a label off. He then reaches into his coat pocket and the camera zooms in to show his hand stuffing a wad of bills with at least two $ 100 bills on the outside of this fold, into the bag.
Campbell says she maintained no money, and says the purse was “not expensive.” Then, it had been valued for reporting gifts given since she didn’t disclose it to elected officers by anyone who’s not an immediate relative.
“The purse had no cash! Julio gave campaign contributions to me. It is from the report. But we just joked. You can’t joke? “Up to today’s date, I do not even use that purse yet. The handbag isn’t number one, an expensive handbag. Two, the handbag had no cash. You can not joke anymore. You have to watch what you are doing.”
Campbell then hung up when asked what happened to the cash he pushed inside the handbag and told a reporter.
Alfonso, whose work is well-known in Miami health circles said he gave Campbell money for yucks. She didn’t like it so he gave it to the senator, although he explained the purse had been a present to his wife. He says the tag.
“I think that it was a joke. I gave some gifts and gifts to her and she said ‘Oh, there is money inside.’ I pulled out of my pocket some money — perhaps, I do not understand a one- or five-dollar bill. I [took] it back. The gift has been closed. I put as a joke and I [took] the cash back again. It’s a public event.”
Campbell insisted that the only money she obtained from Alfonso came from campaign tests deposited on June 1. Campbell effort reports show Alfonso gave $1,000 plus the price of the minimum fundraiser contribution even though the reports were altered after the Florida Department of Elections captured problems with Campbell’s reporting. Ever since that time, $ 1,800 was returned to SSF co-founder Arianna Torrejon and Alfonso since they gave Campbell cash than the law permitted.
Campbell did not report receiving any cash, which under Florida legislation is limited to $50 per person to either a candidate or a committee. Accept or to give longer is a misdemeanor.
I FOLLOW THE LAW. I KNOW THE LAW, AND I RESPECT THE LAW.
Campbell’s fundraiser was held after the 2017 legislative session. Campbell’s bill allowed doctors licensed in other countries to seek limited licensing from the U.S. as long as they perform community service for a year with a non-profit healthcare agency, such as SSF.
Campbell, with a nursing background, has been dogged by investigations and ethics scandals during hereight years at the Florida Legislature.She filed laws to prohibit red light cameras after the family minivan racked up several citations, and once registered a bill to block public disclosure of troubled assisted living facilities — like those her family company conducted. She has been hit with IRS exemptions and researched for Medicaid fraud.
Campbell won a two-year term at 2016 into the Florida Senate and faces a reelection challenge.
Campbell refused to answer questions about also the cash and the event after hanging up a second time. She didn’t respond to questions left about what happened the worth of this bag and Alfonso put in her 21, with an aide.
“No one ever gave me cash money, allow me to tell you,” Campbell said. I know the law, and I respect the law”