D'Anne Leigh Mica, daughter of U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), was arrested on the morning of January 8 for driving under the influence. Her blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.
The incident might have faded away, but Rep. Mica's opponents were reminded of potentially suspicious connections between the congressman's legislation and his daughter's business with a large Florida construction company.
The website of D'Anne Leigh Mica's PR firm lists Florida-based construction giant, PBS&J, which has recently been involved in corruption scandals of its own, as a client. Rep. Mica is the ranking Republican on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and has, in the past, pushed for construction projects that clients of his daughters would be in charge of overseeing.
ABC News reports:
One of the most high profile of those has been his effort to secure federal support for a high speed rail link that would connect Orlando to Lakeland and Tampa. Mica helped push legislation for the 110-mile-per hour fast train through congress in 2008. Last month, he said Florida was one of four finalists to get millions in funding for the pioneering project. (The Federal Railroad administration disputed that, saying there is no short list yet. They are currently considering requests from 24 states seeking a combined $50 billion.)
Forms submitted by PBS&J lobbyists last year indicate the company has pursued the rail project both with members of the House Transportation Committee and congressional representatives from Florida to discuss, though it does not identify which members they contacted.
Rep. Mica's chief of staff, Rusty Roberts, attempted to explain: "She says she has never represented PBS&J," Roberts told ABC. "Why did she put it on her website? I don't know."
D'Anne Leigh Mica has denied any connection between her PR business and her father's work. "My father has no idea what I do in my business. And I have no idea what he does in his," she said, according to the ABC report.