WEST PALM BEACH — Attorney Salesia Smith-Gordon of the West Palm Beach-based law firm of Salesia Smith-Gordon, P.A., has been appointed to the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics.
Smith-Gordon is the first African-American female to be designated to the post and first African American to serve on the commission on behalf of the joint Palm Beach County Bar Association, F. Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association and Palm Beach Hispanic Bar Association.
The commision’s duty is to examine complaints as well as to enforce and implement the Palm Beach County Code of Ethics, Lobbyist registration and Post Employment Ordinances. In addition the commission issues advisory opinions to county officials, employees and others subject to its jurisdiction, such as vendors and lobbyists. Another key commission function is to provide training to county employees and elected officials about the code and its application to their daily conduct.
A native Floridian, Smith-Gordon earned her B.S. in Pharmacy from Florida A&M University and her J.D. from Florida State University. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., and is involved with the League of Women Voters of Florida. She has received numerous accolades and honors including being named one of the “25 Most Powerful and Influential Black Leaders of 2012,” by Legacy Palm Beach.
Smith-Gordon is a nationally-known litigator who has achieved landmark verdicts and settlements on behalf of her clients. For the last 20 years she has built a legal career in the practice areas of automobile accidents, personal injury, premises liability and wrongful death. Smith-Gordon also is a registered pharmacist and handles complex litigation matters involving prescription and medication errors.
Smith-Gordon has served as president of the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association (2012-2013), Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest association of predominantly African-American lawyers and judges. Her achievements and affiliations also include life membership in the National Bar Association, chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee, and membership in the Palm Beach County Bar Association, Palm Beach Justice Association, Florida Pharmacy Association, American Society of Pharmacy Law and other organizations.
She replaces West Palm Beach attorney Manuel Farach, who in July announced that he planned to step down as the board’s chairman.
She comes on board at a time when the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, the state Legislature’s auditing arm, has called on the commission to respond by Sept. 20 to a review that called on the ethics panel to improve its handling of investigations and hearings.