Palm Beach County Ethics

Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics

Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics

Peter L. Cruise - Chair Michael S. Kridel - Vice Chair
Rodney G. Romano Michael H. Kugler Carol E.A. DeGraffenreidt

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Next Meeting: Commission on Ethics Monthly Meeting - Thursday, August 6, 2020 - 1:30 p.m. - Virtual Meeting held via Webex
Click here to attend meeting via Webex.

Agenda and Atachments

Motion for Summary Judgement Hearing Re: C18-008 (Lynne Hubbard) - Tuesday, September 16, 2020 - 11:00 a.m. (Hearing Officer - Thomas Dougherty) - This will be a virtual meeting. If you wish to attend, you may click here to do so, or use the link below to watch the meeting live on Channel 20.

Agenda

Click here to watch the meeting live on Channel 20

Recent Updates:

Pocket Card

Peter Cruise is Executive Director of the LeRoy Collins Public Ethics Academy and Affiliate Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University. Both his academic and professional careers have been focused on improving the ethical climate in public sector programs and organizations.

Since graduating with his Ph.D. in Public Administration from FAU in 1995, Dr. Cruise taught ethics and organizational behavior in both undergraduate and graduate students in universities such as California State University-Chico, Golden Gate University, Louisiana State University and Mary Baldwin University. Before beginning his academic life, his professional career started in West Palm Beach in the early 1980s, working at St. Mary’s Hospital, and the Palm Beach Blood Bank, and later at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart.

In addition to many published articles, he is the co-editor of the Handbook of Organization Theory and Management: The Philosophical Approach (2nd Edition, 2006). In April 2015, Dr. Cruise was selected as a Distinguished Alumnus by the faculty of the College of Design and Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University.

Michael Kridel is a Certified Public Accountant and Shareholder in Michael S. Kridel, C.P.A., P.A., in Delray Beach. He holds the Certified in Financial Forensics, Certified Information Technology Professional and Certified Forensic Consultant designations as well as others. Mr. Kridel has practiced public accounting in South Florida since graduation from The George Washington University. Prior to reestablishing his named practice in 2018, he was a Partner in Daszkal Bolton for 17 years and then a Principal in Rehmann Robson for nearly 5 years. He previously practiced as a sole practitioner. Mr. Kridel has provided accounting, tax and litigation services in a broad range of matters including family law, stockholder actions, financial damages, fraud detection, criminal and civil tax matters, wrongful discharge and professional malpractice defense.

Mr. Kridel is a frequent speaker and author, garnering numerous awards, at national and local conferences for accountants and attorneys on topics such as litigation services, professional ethics, eDiscovery, practice management, information technology and human resources. He is a certified ethics instructor for CPAs in Florida and, an online instructor in forensic accounting courses for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a guest instructor at Florida Atlantic University and other institutions. He is a longtime member of the Editorial Review Panels of the Journal of Accountancy and Florida CPA Today. Mr. Kridel has been a Rotarian since 1986 and is a board member of multiple not-for-profit organizations.

For more than 25 years, Mr. Kridel has facilitated an award-winning seminar, Ethical Decision Making in the Workplace and Society, for Broward County high schools, positively influencing in excess of 15,000 seniors. He is also the accounting profession’s representative member of the Education Advisory Committee of the Florida Board of Accountancy.

Rodney Romano is a Florida Licensed Attorney and Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator. He founded Matrix Mediation in 2006 to bring a next level of excellence and consistency to the mediation profession. Mr. Romano has conducted more than 22,000 hours of circuit civil mediations and has been a member of the Florida Supreme Court appointed Mediator Qualifications and Disciplinary Review Board since 2009. Rodney is a former Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney and served 4 terms as Mayor of the City of Lake Worth, Florida.

Mr. Romano earned his law degree from Nova Southeastern University and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University. Prior to admission to the Florida Bar, Rodney was a Florida Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and a Florida Certified General Contractor.

Rodney is a licensed (non-current) private pilot and Nitrox certified scuba diver, and a lifelong resident of Palm Beach County. He is married to Lynnette and has five children and three grandchildren.
For a more detailed resume, please see www.matrixmediation.com.

Michael H. Kugler, Esquire

Michael H. Kugler has dedicated his career to obtaining justice through our court system on behalf of all categories of victims.  He approaches his cases with tenacity, compassion, and respect.  He has the ability to relate with all victims in a unique and honest way that they know he is fighting for them.

Michael Kugler began his legal career at the Office of the State Attorney in Palm Beach County. With over 100 jury trials, Mr. Kugler prosecuted every crime from DUI to Capital Sexual Battery to the Death Penalty. As a vital member of the Special Victims Unit, Mr. Kugler prosecuted the most violent predators in our community and gave a voice to child victims of sexual abuse. Mr. Kugler is a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for Palm Beach County which created and runs the county's first dedicated sexual assault examination site, which coordinates the medical, law enforcement, forensic, and legal response to sexual violence in the community. Mr. Kugler gained national media attention with his prosecution of a former WPTV Weatherman who sexually preyed on young and vulnerable teenagers.

Originally from California, Mr. Kugler came to South Florida on an academic scholarship to the University of Miami where he obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration. Before attending law school of Nova Southeastern University, Mr. Kugler was a licensed stock broker working for a boutique broker dealer in Boca Raton. While at Nova Southeastern University Law School, Mr. Kugler was a member of multiple mock trial teams, and the Vice President of the school's trial organization.

Mike Kugler, Esq.

Carol E. A. DeGraffenreidt is a seasoned government attorney with extensive state and federal criminal and civil trial experience. She has served as the lead and/or sole attorney in more than 100 criminal and civil trials.  

Ms. DeGraffenreidt began her career as an assistant state attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit.  Serving as an assistant County Court supervisor and lead felony trial attorney, she was Broward County’s first black female assistant state attorney.

Ms. DeGraffenreidt next served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida in both the civil and criminal divisions. She represented the United States in matters involving criminal and civil asset forfeiture, land condemnation, environmental law, personal injury, medical malpractice, employment discrimination, civil health care fraud, procurement fraud, bank embezzlement and robbery, narcotics immigration, money laundering, firearms, and mail and wire fraud, to name a few.

Additionally, Ms. DeGraffenreidt assisted foreign prosecutors in obtaining evidence located in the U.S. and prosecuted crimes that occurred on military property and sovereign lands. While a federal prosecutor, she was also cross-designated as an assistant state attorney for the Dade County State Attorney’s Office assisting in the prosecution of tourist car-jacking cases. 

Ms. DeGraffenreidt is currently a senior assistant attorney general assigned to the Consumer Protection Division of the Florida Attorney General’s Office. She handles complex consumer protection matters involving false and deceptive business practices regarding  advertising, sales and service contracts, telemarketing, timeshare and timeshare sales/re-sales, mortgage foreclosure loan assistance, debt relief/debt consolidation/credit repair, improper debt collection practices, automobile refinance assistance, bankruptcy, negative options, moving services, and price gouging. Ms. DeGraffenreidt was recognized as the 2018 Consumer Protection Attorney of the Year for the Office of the Attorney General.

A Florida native, Ms. DeGraffenreidt is a former Palm Beach County Traffic Court hearing officer. She a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Maryland School of Law.