TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Ethics Commis- sion has approved an advisory opinion saying Attorney General Bill McCollum cannot lobby the governor and Cabinet members for at least two years after leaving office.
The opinion adopted Friday also says McCollum cannot lobby a variety of agencies those officials jointly oversee. He can, however, lobby their staffs, except for Cabinet aides.
The guidelines also apply to other Cabinet members and governors when they leave office. McCollum becomes a private citizen again Jan. 4.
Rather than seek re-election this year, McCollum ran for governor but lost in the Republican primary to political newcomer Rick Scott, whom he finally endorsed Friday.
PSC nominees sent to Crist for short term
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist is getting a familiar list of candidates to chair the Public Service Commission for the rest of the year.
The PSC Nominating Council agreed Monday to send Crist the same list of finalists he used to appoint a successor to Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano for the next four years.
That means Crist can appoint Tampa lawyer Julie Brown, his choice to replace Argenziano for a full term, to fill the rest of her term ending Jan. 1.
Argenziano, a Republican, resigned Oct. 12 so she could endorse Democrat Alex Sink for governor.
She also endorsed Crist, a former Republican running as an independent for the U.S. Senate, and Democrats Dan Gelber for attorney general and Lorrane Ausley for chief financial officer.
Jail inmate dies, is found unresponsive
TAMPA — Authorities are determining the cause of death of an inmate found unresponsive at a jail in Tampa.
The 33-year-old inmate was not immediately identified Monday. The medical examiner and Hillsborough County authorities are conducting an investigation.
The inmate was found sitting on the floor in his confinement cell at the Falkenburg Road Jail during a routine check Sunday evening. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A sheriff’s office re- port says the inmate had been scheduled for transfer to the Florida State Hospital after being found mentally incompetent to stand trial on felony battery charges.
Hillsborough man injured in drive-by shooting
WIMAUMA — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a drive-by shooting that left one man injured.
The shooting happened Sunday at about 10:15 a.m. in Wimauma.
According to deputies, at least one suspect drove by the home and fired multiple shots, hitting a man who was outside in the lower torso.
Family members took him to a local hospital where he was in stable condition.
Investigators do not believe the shooting was a random attack.
No further information was immediately released.
Lake County deputy injured in crash
TAVARES — A central Florida sheriff’s deputy was injured in a car crash and was hospitalized as a precaution.
Authorities say the deputy was crashed into a truck carrying lawn equipment on Monday in Lake County.
The other driver had minor injuries.
Florida Highway Patrol says charges are pending.
South Florida couple in court for ducks’ deaths
PALM BEACH GARDENS — A South Florida couple is headed to court on charges that they allegedly arranged for their neighborhood ducks to be killed.
Robert and Blain Aymond of Palm Beach Gardens are set to appear before a judge on Monday for a non-jury trial. Authorities say the couple hired a trapper to remove eight birds they had corralled in their patio and had them euthanized at a shelter. A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigation found that the “no kill” shelter euthanized the birds because the Aymonds had given a large donation.
The Aymonds insist they did nothing wrong. At a pretrial hearing last month, the courtroom was filled with supporters of the ducks wearing yellow ribbons in their honor.
Iraq war vet killed in boating accident
DELAND — Authorities have found the body of an Iraq war veteran who was thrown from a boat during a collision on a central Florida river.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says divers from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office found the body of 36-year-old Jamie Orsten on Saturday.
Orsten was thrown into the water after the boat he was riding in crashed with another vessel on the St. Johns River Friday evening. Officials say he was not wearing a life jacket.
Commission spokeswoman Joy Hill said Orsten was an Army veteran of the Iraq war.
Charges are pending the outcome of an investigation.
—Herald wire services