A Campbell family minivan has racked up five tickets for running red lights since 2010.
Most citizens would slow down. But Daphne Campbell isn’t like most citizens.
She’s a Democratic state representative who has another way to deal with future red-light tickets: file legislation to ban the traffic-surveillance cameras that shot video of her husband’s Honda Odyssey breaking traffic laws.
It could seem like a conflict of interest. But as long as a lawmaker’s bills don’t benefit him or her or a family member uniquely, it’s generally not a conflict of interest.
This is the state of ethics in the Florida Legislature. It’s a citizens’ legislature of 160 part-time lawmakers. They theoretically come from all walks of life and private professions.
This is representative democracy.
And Campbell, of Miami Shores, represents so much more in Miami-Dade.
Many citizens run red lights in Miami-Dade. Campbell is from Miami-Dade. And someone in her family ran red lights five times.
Miami-Dade is also a Medicaid fraud capital. Campbell and her husband own businesses that bill Medicaid. And the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating them two years ago. Their son, 30-year-old Gregory Campbell, faces Medicaid fraud charges in an alleged $300,000 scheme.
Many in Miami-Dade have tax problems. Campbell is from Miami-Dade. And she and her husband last spring were slapped with $145,000 worth of liens. The IRS also began examining the Campbells over financial transactions involving a web of family healthcare businesses. Two former business associates told The Herald and IRS that the Campbells scammed them.
Miami-Dade has questionable mortgages. The Campbells own numerous properties in Miami-Dade. Campbell’s husband pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal charge of falsely using someone else’s Social Security number to obtain $829,103 involving six separate loans, one of which was from a Honda dealership.
Miami-Dade has lots of immigrants who get ripped off. Campbell’s legislative office is in Miami-Dade. Turns out, her top aide Janice Shackelford was arrested for grand theft last fall for allegedly charging constituents, mostly Haitian immigrants, phony fees for help that never materialized. Before Campbell hired her, Shackelford had pleaded guilty to a 2006 grand theft charge in Miami-Dade; a swindling charge was dropped.
North Miami has been plagued with “unscrupulous” absentee ballot irregularities at assisted living facilities, a county ethics group reported in 2008. Campbell campaigned in a North Miami ALF. And that very ALF was highlighted in the ethics group report that pointedly mentioned the Democrat by name.
Some group home residents have died or been raped in Miami-Dade. Campbell and her son ran Professional Group Home, based in Miami-Dade. And two developmentally disabled Miami-Dade residents died in its care in 2006, one after she was raped by a dangerous resident. The rapist wasn’t supervised closely despite Daphne Campbell’s assurance to a judge that he would get “’one-on-one” monitoring from staffers who will “’be with him everywhere he goes.”
Beyond Miami-Dade, in Lee County, two other disabled people died in Professional Group Home’s care in 2006. One disabled man, who had profound trouble eating, was allowed to have a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich that choked him to death.