Florida Representative Dwayne Taylor tumbles from grace after being found guilty in federal court for fraud related to illegal use of his campaign contributions as a personal slush fund. Taylor, of Daytona, embezzled donations to finance his lavish lifestyle including his wedding at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, a honeymoon in Hawaii, and a Mercedes-Benz.
“This is proof that term limits eliminate politicians with over-inflated egos who get blinded by greed,” says Nick Tomboulides, Executive Director of U.S. Term Limits. Fortunately, for Florida, he was ousted by term limits before he could do any more damage.
term limits eliminate politicians with over-inflated egos who get blinded by greed
Taylor served in the Florida House from 2008-2016 when he was term limited out of office. He took advantage of weak term limits laws that allowed him to hold office for eight consecutive years for Senators and House Members. Florida law limits state Senators and Members to two consecutive terms in the same office. However, Taylor was able to claim an two more terms in a different House seat after the map lines were redrawn, putting his residence in a new district.
Thanks to term limits, Taylor was prevented from running for additional terms in Florida. “Term limits curb corruption since power is limited. The incumbent knows a replacement office holder is imminent which increases transparency and accountability,” according to Tomboulides.
Taylor was found guilty of withdrawing excessive cash from his campaign account and immediately depositing it into his personal bank account, failing to report the transactions. In addition, he provided false campaign finance reports indicating he paid $56,000 to a non-existent consulting firm.
The F.B.I. started the investigation into Taylor’s embezzlement activities in 2010 while he was still in the Florida legislature. He faces up to 20 years for each count. Sentencing is set for November 2017.