Cindy Stuart fined for improperly filling out financial disclosure – Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough County Clerk of Court Cindy Stuart has agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for improperly filling out her 2019 and 2020 personal financial disclosure forms.

The fine is part of an agreement settling a complaint filed with the state Commission on Ethics against Stuart by a local blogger and gadfly, Jason Ferger of Valrico.

On the disclosure forms, Stuart listed an investment account worth $757,936 on the 2020 form and $645,354 on the 2019 form but did not list individual securities included in the account.

Filers are required to list the individual financial products included in an investment account if they’re valued at more than $1,000, according to the instructions attached to the form.

Stuart has since filed amendments to both forms listing the investments.

Stuart was on the School Board before being elected clerk in 2020.

Ferger is behind a Hillsborough County School Board whistleblower page on Facebook that has criticized her and other board members.

“The general public doesn’t realize how important and wide the responsibilities of the clerk of court are,” Ferger said. “You need a person that pays attention to details. She’s been in public office long enough to know what’s she’s supposed to do.”

In an emailed statement, Stuart acknowledged she didn’t disclose her assets “to the extent the form required.”

“Once brought to my attention, I immediately corrected the form,” she said. “I’ve served in public office for many years and value transparency. I welcome input from the public and I appreciate this issue being brought to my attention.”