Too much free time on her hands. She needs to be otherwise occupied, perhaps by defending charges of ethics violations . . .
http://thecapitolist.com/nikki-frieds-n ... t-ban-law/
Oct. 10, 2019
Records filed in June of this year show Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is living the high life, riding a wave of sudden financial prosperity, thanks in part to her marijuana industry investor and romantic partner, Jake Bergmann. But Fried’s sudden spike in net worth, more than 400% higher than last year, may run afoul of Florida’s ethics laws.
That’s because Fried posted a $1.1 million windfall, first noted by Tallahassee Reports in July, which is mostly attributed to her acquisition of a $700,000 luxury home in northeast Tallahassee. Records show she and Bergmann have had joint ownership of the property since February, but they are not married. Florida ethics laws prohibit Fried from accepting gifts greater than $100 in value, particularly from someone like Bergmann who has business before the Department of Agriculture.
The initial story by Steve Stewart uncovered new details about Fried’s rising wealth, but answers provided to Tallahassee Reports by a Fried spokesman raised even more questions about the relationship between Fried and Bergmann, who owns a large stake in Surterra Wellness. The company is a major medical marijuana player that strongly supported Fried’s election campaign, dumping tens of thousands of dollars into a pro-Fried political action committee last year.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politi ... story.html
Dec. 10, 2019
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is now engaged to her boyfriend, Jake Bergmann, the founder of a company that is one of the state’s biggest suppliers of medical marijuana. Fried was the only Democrat elected to a statewide position last year. She made improving access to medical marijuana the signature issue of her campaign.
Bergmann stepped down as the CEO of Surterra Wellness on Nov. 5, 2018, a day before Fried was elected agriculture commissioner, according to a company news release. He founded the Atlanta-based company in 2014. Bergmann still has an ownership stake in Surterra Wellness but not a controlling stake, said Eric Johnson, the chairman of Fried’s political committee. Surterra Wellness recently changed its name to Parallel.
Bergmann is now CEO of Iconoclast Ventures, a “venture management firm that seeks to spark social change by launching ambitious enterprises,” according to his profile on LinkedIn.
Fried’s office doesn’t directly oversee medical marijuana. The Florida Department of Health provides most of the oversight. Before winning the election, Fried worked as a medical marijuana lobbyist.Fried has said her relationship has no bearing on her work in Tallahassee, telling Florida Trend, "I have no allegiances to any company. My allegiances are to the state of Florida and to the patients.”
As agriculture commissioner, Fried created a medical marijuana advisory committee and appointed a cannabis director. Her office is working on rules for medical marijuana edibles, and it also will oversee the state’s hemp program.
Bergmann contributed $60,000 to Fried’s political committee during the campaign, according to state campaign finance records. Surterra Wellness is helping to bankroll a proposed ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida, donating $1.6 million to the effort called Make It Legal Florida.