WATCH LARRY SPRUILL'S FULL INTERVIEW WITH KIM DANIELS AT THE TOP OF THIS STORY
Embattled state Rep. Kimberly Daniels is breaking her silence. Daniels faces charges for using campaign money for personal expenses.
For more than two years, Daniels has been quiet.
“I purposely (have) been staying focused, because these things really can be a distraction if you let them,” Daniels said.
The distraction is a legal one. The Florida Elections Commission claims it found probable cause that she used campaign funds for personal expenses.
Action News Jax's Larry Spruill: Did you use personal funding for your campaign?
Daniels: I funded my campaign personally, let’s turn it around that way? I personally funded my campaign. So I’m being accused of stealing money from myself."
Spruill: I understand you have received nearly $200,000 in income last year from your two ministries. One of your ministries named is named in foreclosure.
Daniels: That happened through a divorce and divorce proceedings. I had no control over that. It’s not my property. I signed for the property and guess what the foreclosure didn’t go through. The properties are being sold now.
Daniels: They are trying to force me to claim church properties on my financial report. What they’re asking me to do actually incriminates me.
Daniels: The properties belong to the church, they are deeded to the church, I’m a signer for the church and that’s the bottom line.
Daniels: I’m a woman of God, and I waited on God, and I believe the Lord said, 'It’s time to speak now.'
The Florida Elections Commission found probable cause that Daniels violated campaign finance laws. Daniels was running for re-election to Jacksonville’s City Council when she was accused of spending $4,000 of campaign funds on a magazine ad. The ad promoted a book she wrote, but not her campaign.
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Spruill: Can you clarify where that $4,000 came from and did you put it towards that magazine article?
Daniels: Absolutely not, I’m an author, I don’t pay for magazines, people pay me. I don’t pay to be in magazines.
Daniels confirms she’s running for re-election. Daniels also mentioned that she’s being blackmailed, but didn’t say who was blackmailing her.