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Cape councilman files ethics complaint against mayor

Posted at 7:18 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 19:19:10-04
Cape Coral, Fla. -- A Cape Coral council member has filed a request for a state ethics investigation against the city's mayor. 
 
Richard Leon, who represents district 4, says he submitted a request to the Florida Commission on Ethics to review gifts the mayor received from a prominent business owner that reportedly were never disclosed. 
 
"There may have been some issues with the mayor with breaking some state laws," said Leon, during Monday's meeting.
 
The revelations came as surprise to the members of the council, especially Mayor Retzer who questioned why Leon made the announcement at the public meeting. 
 
"This is a definitely some type of political witch hunt motivated by a handful of people," said Councilman John Carioscia, District 2
 
Leon alleges Retzer violated Florida Statute 112.3148; which details what type of gifts elected officials can received and states all gifts over $100 must be disclosed. Leon claims he received documents from "several residents" which purportedly show the alleged gifts including jewelry and a convertible audi.  
 
Fox 4 did not independently verify the validity of the documents. 
 
Leon showed Fox 4 receipts for jewelry purchased by local business owner Brian Rist; along with a receipt for jewelry appraisal signed by both Retzer and Rist. He also shared a title for a $49,000 audi convertible that listed Retzer and Storm Smart Bldg Systems Inc - a business owned by Rist. 
 
"This is right versus wrong; why are we not allowed to bring something forward if it's wrong. I mean are they encouraging this behavior? I don't know, it's a good question,"  said Leon.
 
The council chose not to investigate the claims and instead will be passing the matter along to the state ethics commission.
 
Retzer told Fox 4 she would not comment on the allegations until she and her attorney reviewed the evidence. During Monday's meeting she urged anyone to bring any information forward they may have in regards to the allegations. 
 
"You can say whatever you want about my looks, my brain, but not my integrity," said Mayor Retzer.