Florida’s Commission on Ethics announced Wednesday that it had found no probable cause against Deputy Clerk Deanna Alltop during a recent investigation.
Last May former Archer Mayor Laurie Costello filed a complaint alleging Alltop misused her position as deputy clerk to help family members put a mobile home on land not zoned for it. The property was located off of SW 134th Avenue.
Costello also said the family member’s mobile home was placed before the paperwork, but the commission also reported no probable cause was found that Alltop misused her position.
In a phone interview, Alltop said the last seven months had been tough with the complaint hanging over her.
“It really hurt me a lot,” she said. “I’m just glad it’s over.”
Alltop said the commission was thorough as it worked with her and interviewed managers.
The complaint also changed her work life, she said. While careful before, Alltop said she thinks through issues multiple times, knowing people are focused on her work and finding any errors.
She added that the allegation, and the attention it drew, could have jeopardized her career in the public sector. She has served as clerk in Archer for seven years.
“We just stuck to the facts because I knew I didn’t do anything wrong,” Alltop said.
The Florida Commission on Ethics ruled on several other local cases as well.
The commission did find probable cause against Sherri MacDonald, a Yankeetown clerk, for misusing her position to amend her employment contract and get better benefits. She was also involved in the vote that determined if the amendment would go before the Town Council.
The commission dismissed a complaint against Lake City Council member Eugene Jefferson, citing a lack of legal sufficiency.