POLK COUNTY – On July 24, Polk County Commission candidate Martin Grenfell filed an ethics complaint to The Florida Bar against Polk County Attorney Michael Craig and petitioned the Florida Commission on Ethics to investigate his election competitor, incumbent Polk County Commissioner George Lindsey.
The ethics complaints were filed three days after county commissioners voted to sue Grenfell, alleging he is not eligible to hold elected office because his rights were never fully restored following a past felony arrest.
Grenfell said he believes Craig called and emailed him July 15 in an attempt to intimidate Grenfell from dropping out of the race voluntarily. The ethics complaint against Craig asserts the alleged call and email represent an abuse of power.
Grenfell further alleged that Lindsey instructed Craig to make the call. Lindsey adamantly denied the accusation.
“Mr. Grenfell’s federal felony conviction is his impediment to appearing on the ballot, not his other legal issues, not Mr. Craig and not me,” Lindsey said.
A judge has yet to be assigned to hear the case. Grenfell said he may drop out of the election during the first court hearing once it is scheduled.