WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES IF A PUBLIC BOARD
OR COMMISSION FAILS TO COMPLY WITH THE
1. Criminal penalties
Any member of a board or commission or of any state agency or authority of a county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision who knowingly violates the Sunshine Law is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. Section 286.011(3)(b), Florida Statutes. Conduct which occurs outside the state which constitutes a knowing violation of the Sunshine Law is a second degree misdemeanor. Section 286.011(3)(c),Florida Statutes. Such violations are prosecuted in the county in which the board or commission normally conducts its official business. Section 910.16, Florida Statutes.The criminal penalties apply to members of advisory councils subject to the Sunshine Law as well as to members of elected or appointed boards. Op. Att’y Gen. Fla. 01-84
2. Removal from office
When a method for removal from office is not otherwise provided by the
Constitution or by law, the Governor may suspend an elected or appointed public officer who is indicted or informed against for any misdemeanor arising directly out of his 30 official duties. Section 112.52, Florida Statutes. If convicted, the officer may be removed from office by executive order of the Governor. A person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere or who is found guilty is, for purposes of section 112.52, Florida Statutes, deemed to have been convicted, notwithstanding the suspension of sentence or the withholding of adjudication. Cf., section 112.51, Florida Statutes, and article IV, section 7, Florida Constitution.