While she faces a lawsuit for allegedly using illegal absentee ballots in her reelection campaign, North Miami Beach Councilwoman Phyllis Smith will not face a reprimand from the Miami-Dade County ethics commission.
The commission, at its monthly meeting Wednesday morning, found a complaint against Smith for campaign violations “not legally sufficient.”
Commission members reasoned that although the allegations against Smith might violate Florida state election law, the ethics commission had no jurisdiction in the matter.
Additionally, the commission found that if Smith’s alleged actions violated the county’s voluntary fair practices ordinance she would be exempt because she did not officially agree to be governed by the ordinance.
Smith won reelection in North Miami Beach in a runoff election May 19 defeating her opponent, attorney Michael Joseph, by 71 votes. Joseph filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Smith and the city’s canvassing board alleging that the councilwoman benefited from the absentee ballot votes in two voting districts.
In Joseph’s complaint, he asked that the ballot votes be removed and he be declared winner of the election.