Congressman Alan Grayson, (D-Orlando), filed a formal legal complaint this week with Attorney General Pam Bondi, seeking an investigation into whether Marriott Vacations Worldwide broke Florida law by corruptly making a “threat against a public servant.”
Marriott fired Osceola Commission Candidate Viviana Janer, last month after allegedly discovering her candidacy and giving her an ultimatum to quit her campaign or be terminated.
“When Marriott Vacations Worldwide threatened to fire Janer, the company broke a vital public integrity law by threatening this public servant,” Grayson said in a release citing Florida Statute section 838.021 prohibits “corruption by threat of a public servant” and states that “it is unlawful to harm or threaten to harm any public servant.”
Grayson stated in the complaint. “The either/or ultimatum delivered to Ms. Janer on September 19 represents the ultimate harm any employer can impart on an employee, the loss of a job.”
Marriott International – which shares lobbyists with Marriott Vacations Worldwide – has donated $2,000 to Janer’s opponent in the race, Republican John Quinones. The second of those $1,000 donations arrived on a Sunday, two days after Janer was fired. Quinones has since returned both donations.
It’s unlikely Bondi’s office will launch an investigation against Marriott. Grayson and Bondi are both up for reelections themselves next month. Grayson faces Osceola Realtor Executive Carol Platt in the 9th district which overlaps the district of the Commission seat Janer is running in. And Bondi faces Democrat and former DCF Chief George Sheldon, who could potentially use this call to action against her in the weeks remaining in the race.