Santa Rosa County Commissioner Robert “Bob” Cole, in response to being charged with violating the Florida Sunshine law, said all he was doing was answering his elder with a yes ma’am as he was reared to do.
“The day there’s any law that prevents a person from saying yes ma’am or no sir, there’s a problem in this country,” he said.
In the press release from State Attorney Bill Eddins office, the non-criminal violation stems from an incident in which Cole discussed a matter with another board member of the Milton Downtown Redevelopment Advisory Board prior to the beginning of a DRAB meeting on January 15. This discussion, which occurred outside a public meeting is in violation of the Florida Sunshine Law, the release stated.
Cole is now facing a fine of up to $500 for the violation.
The state attorney’s office said the other party involved with the discussion, Elba Robertson, will not face any charges in the matter.
The press release states Robertson was a non-elected volunteer member of the board. In addition, Robertson has resigned from the Milton DRAB and has agreed not to serve on any “Sunshine boards without additional training in the law.”
Robertson submitted her resignation letter to DRAB Chairman Wesley Meiss on February 26.
When reached for comment on the matter, Cole was unavailable at the time.