Tallahassee, FL – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has asked the state and federal government to assist in her investigation into whether former New York City mayor and failed Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg had broken the law by trying to pay off felons’ fines so they can vote in November.
Moody sent letters to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that requested further investigation into whether Bloomberg had tried to influence the election results, The Washington Post reported.
The attorney general had reviewed the allegations that Bloomberg and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition had violated the law by offering incentives for voting at the request of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
“I have instructed the Statewide Prosecutor to work with law enforcement and any Statewide Grand Jury that the Governor may call,” Moody said in a written statement, according to The Washington Post.
Florida voters restored felons’ voting rights in 2018; however, they must first have paid all fines, court fees, and restitution.
Felons’ rights group appealed the decision, but the court ruled on Sept. 11 that those outstanding balances had to be paid before voting rights could be restored.
Also, the change did not apply to murderers and sex offenders, The Washington Post reported.
Bloomberg announced that he had raised $16 million to pay off felons’ financial obligation so they could vote in the 2020 election.
The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition also announced it had collected more than $20 million in a “Fines and Fees” fund established in response to the amendment that was passed, WESH reported.
Several professional sports teams, basketball legend LeBron James, and celebrity musician John Legend have all pledged financial support to the effort.
The Florida attorney general has asked for help from state investigators and the FBI to determine whether the donations violate the law, The Washington Post reported.
Bloomberg staffers said that the money raised would go to pay off fines and fees for about 31,100 felons who still owed less than $1,500.
The numbers are critical because Florida decided the 2,000 Presidential election in favor of George W. Bush by 537 votes, The Washington Post reported.