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Politics

Flores-Braynon Affair Calls for an Investigation, Says Mystery Letter to Benacquisto

January 22, 2018 - 12:45pm
Anitere Flores, Oscar Braynon and Lizbeth Benacquisto
Anitere Flores, Oscar Braynon and Lizbeth Benacquisto

UPDATED MONDAY EVENING TO INCLUDE SEN. BENACQUISTO'S COMMENTS. A prominent Tampa businessman said Sunday he is still waiting to hear if the chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee is going to investigate the extramarital affair of Sens. Anitere Flores and Oscar Braynon.

Tad J. Humphreys, 61, wrote to Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, on Jan. 11 asking two questions he believes the Flores-Braynon affair raises:

  • How it affects "the advancement or conversely, the lack of progress, of good public policy;" and

  • Whether the senators violated Florida's sunshine laws.

Benacquisto, however, said her staff spent much of the day looking for Humphreys' letter, and as far as she can tell, it never arrived at her Capitol office where Humphreys said it was sent via U.S. mail the Thursday before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

"We reached him by phone and he said he would resend the letter when he returns to his office," the senator told Sunshine State News. "But he said he won't be back for two weeks."

Recapping the genesis of Humphreys' letter: The relationship between Flores and Braynon had long been rumored in Tallahassee by Jan. 9, when an anonymous texter leaked surveillance "evidence" of the couple going back and forth between cross-the-hall apartments at The Tennyson.

The two senators immediately issued a joint statement, admitting their relationship grew beyond friendship and apologizing to their constituents for it.

"... We do not want gossip and rumors to distract from the important business of the people," they wrote. "That's why we are issuing this brief statement to acknowledge that our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret." 

Humphreys emphasized in his letter to Benacquisto, "In some instances (Senate Minority Leader Braynon and President Pro Tempore Flores) serve on the same committee. With that framework, it begs the question of how their relationship had a bearing on the outcome of legislation. ... Please consider this as a request that the Rules Committee staff look at the correlation between the Senate Democratic Caucus documentation during the time of the Flores-Braynon affair and determine which bills were either not put on an agenda or did not pass the committees Senator Flores served or they both serve together."

About Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, Humphreys says "the law, in essence, is applicable to any gathering, whether formal or casual, of two or more members of the legislature to discuss some matter on which foreseeable action will be taken."

(See Humphreys' letter in full by clicking here.)

Listed as CEO of Padgett Swann MacHinery Co., marine and mechanical engineering subsidiary of International Ship Repair of Tampa, Humphreys said he is asking for the investigation only as a citizen, he doesn't represent anyone else. "I think I said it all in my letter, I don't have much more to add. But somehow, I don't think I'm going to hear back from Sen. Benacquisto."

 

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

 


READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS

As Scandals Abound, Florida Senate Seeks Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training

Flores and Braynon Affair: More Dysfunction Exposed during Negron's Senate Presidency

Comments

Her husband is a cuck. His wife better leave him or there is no god.

How truly pathetic both Anitere and Oscar are. Anitere has commited adultery, lied to her husband, lied to her church, lied to the community. There is no mending her affair. Her husband needs to throw her out, and divorce her. I'll bet her extended family is real proud of her too! I hope Oscars wife saves his marriage and tells good old Oscar never to speak to Anitere again!! Even in the senate. Anitere will be all alone and deserves it. Leave the community, leave the church and get out of her husbands life. What a liar. Nobody can trust her now.

So Oscar's little woman should stand by her man, but Anitere's husband should leave her? Double-standard?

Doesn’t this impune Benacquisto & Negron on state junket trips in a possible double date? Expensive research trips out of state with our love birds or did they “save” state $ by sharing rooms? Really? This IS a long affair when Dem competitor in Miami “changes “ districts in 2016 race? Really? Did they really only abide by “100 mile, it’s ok” rule or have they been continuing their “bi-partisanship” in S.FL under spouses’ noses? Really?

It's all fair game now. He got what he wanted. A white woman. She got what she wanted. And they represent us?

How pathetic can two people be ,a no brainer, fire them!

You can begin to understand how she was "taking on certain positions..." lol!

makes you wonder how she came out so adamantly against gun bills that the rest of her party were supporting. Could it be that there was a little "quid pro quo" for silencing of the issues...? It is very likely...

Both State of Florida Senators should show good character and choose to step down as both Senators involved themselves in an illicit extramarital affair while actively serving/performing their day to day duties TOGETHER as elected State of Florida Senators, period. If both Senators take the low road by by not stepping down/resigning, then both Senator's are void of any personal character and deserve whatever negative press, and negative actions taken against them.

Did they violate the Sunshine Law? Really - the answer is pretty obvious!

They should have been removed from their positions so less damage from interaction could be done.

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