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Collier County commissioner’s ties to real estate deal questioned


A relatively small piece of land is at the center of a big vote in Collier County.

It’s a real estate deal tied back to a county commissioner, but he told WINK News he won’t abstain from the vote.

In the early 2000s, Bill McDaniel and a partner owned the land and used it for an excavating business. The deep hole they dug is now filled with water and formed a small lake. They took out $20 million in loans to help run the business. A short time later, the Great Recession hit and they defaulted on the loans.

Fast forward to today: McDaniel is a Collier County commissioner. His land and the rights to collect millions of dollars in loan debt were bought for pennies on the dollar.

A Collier County man paid $900,000 for it, but he decided to forgive McDaniel of all that debt and sold the property to an East Coast developer, who wants to use McDaniel’s old land and connecting property to build 4,000 homes. That plan must be approved by McDaniel and his fellow commissioners.

McDaniel said he doesn’t think his vote is a conflict of interest. Others disagree.

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