In Government, News & Updates

Miami, FL – Weiss Serota Helfman Cole + Bierman (WSHC+B) filed new federal and state court lawsuits challenging the legality of a new law requiring municipal elected officials to file a Form 6 financial disclosure. The complaints were filed on behalf of 26 municipalities and 74 municipal elected officials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami and the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County. 

Previously, all municipal elected officials in Florida were required to complete a Form 1 financial disclosure form, which advised the public of their primary sources of income and primary assets.   Under the new law, municipal elected officials have to complete and file a Form 6, which forces them to publicly disclose quintessentially private, highly personal financial information, including, among other things, the exact amount of their net worth and income and value of every asset worth over $1,000.  More than 100 municipal elected officials in Florida have resigned rather than make these new required disclosures.

The plaintiffs seek a declaration that the Form 6 disclosure requirements violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the privacy clause of the Florida Constitution, along with injunctive relief.

“This is the most intrusive form of financial disclosure that I am aware of in the entire nation, requiring more disclosure of personal financial information than is required of the President of the United States, members of Congress and elected officials in every other state,” said Firm Partner and Fort Lauderdale Office Managing Director Jamie A. Cole, the lead attorney representing the plaintiffs.  “Most municipal elected officials receive little to no compensation for their public service, yet they are being asked to disclose their precise net worth, income and assets.  This legislative overreach has already resulted in the mass resignation of municipal elected officials and, if not overturned in court, will discourage many others from serving their communities.”

WSHC+B Partners Edward G. Guedes and Anne R. Flanigan are assisting Cole in representing the plaintiffs.

Click the links below to see media coverage.

WWSB ABC7 News –

Sun Sentinel –

Palm Beach Daily News –

Islander News –

Florida Today –

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