Florida International University

One-time Florida State Rep. Darryl Reaves, who wants to represent District 3 on the Miami-Dade County School Board, owes more than $60,000 in fines imposed by the Florida Election Commission which cited him for campaign finance violations going back to 1996.

Orders to pay the fines appear in court documents filed in Miami-Dade and Leon counties. Eric Lipman, attorney for the election commission, confirmed that Reaves has not paid the penalties.

Reaves said he was unaware of the fines.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t seen those.”

Details on the specific violations for which Reaves was fined were not immediately available.

Published reports in 2003 say the fines date to 1996 Reaves served in the state House from 1990 to 1992, representing Miami.  He ran against then state Rep. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall in 2002 but lost in the Democratic primary. Bendross-Mindingall is again an opponent, also running for the District 2 school board seat.

The election commission went to court after Reaves failed to comply with its orders to pay the fines.

The first judgment, issued by Leon County in March 2002, ordered him to pay $58,366.62 in civil penalties, costs, fines and attorney fees. It came after the election commission levied the fines in February and October 1999.

The second judgment was issued in November 2002 and ordered Reaves to pay $2,327.50.  The commission levied that fine in February 2000.

“I’m glad you told me,” Reaves told a reporter.  “I will get on that right away.”

Patsy Rushing, clerk of the election commission, said she was unaware Reaves was running for office again.

“Good to know,” she said. “He owes us a lot of money.”

Jessica de Leon may be reached at jdele002@fiu.edu.