Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, has tapped controversial freshman state Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, to chair the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee.
Haridopolos supported Norman during his campaign for the Senate District 12 seat, and continued his support during a lawsuit filed against Norman by his opponent in the Republican primary, former State Rep. Kevin Ambler.
As a result of the lawsuit, a Leon County Circuit Judge tossed Norman from the ballot — saying he failed to disclose a $500,000 gift from a Tampa businessman who often appeared before the Hillsborough County Commission, which Norman served on before running for Senate. Testimony revealed Norman’s wife used the money to purchase an Arkansas home.
An appeals court later overturned the ruling and placed Norman back on the a ballot. Norman went on to to win the election, running unopposed by the Democrats.
The St. Petersburg Times has reported that Norman is still the subject of state ethics complaints over the house controversy. Norman has also been investigated by federal authorities.