This is one bar tab Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) may regret not paying. Faced with an onslaught of accusations that he engaged in underage sex trafficking—and bracing for criminal charges—Gaetz has allowed his license to practice law in his home state of Florida to lapse. As of Wednesday, Gaetz had not paid the fees he owes to The Florida Bar, which regulates lawyers there, prompting the organization to deem him “delinquent” and “not eligible to practice law in Florida.” The Bar’s public directory, which only lists one Matthew Louis Gaetz II, previously showed him in good standing as of July, according to the Internet Archive. This may look like an oversight, but Gaetz’s office is chalking it up to a career change. “Congressman Gaetz is no longer actively engaged in the practice of law. He is focused on representing his constituents in Congress, not the courtroom,” said his office’s communications director, Joel Valdez. That explanation may sound reasonable enough. But four attorneys who spoke to The Daily Beast noted that it is extremely rare for lawyers to do this. Instead, attorneys taking a step back from their legal duties normally pay a smaller $175 fee to remain “inactive” but still a “member in good standing.” “He clearly doesn’t take his law license very seriously when he doesn’t take the time to pay the $265 dues,” said Daniel Uhlfelder, a Santa Rosa Beach attorney who lives in Gaetz’s district. “He’s not a serious lawyer. He’s not a serious congressman. He’s not a serious person. This is one small but symbolic example of that.” The Daily Beast has learned that the Florida Bar has branded Gaetz as “delinquent” twice in the past two years. The organization temporarily cut him off in 2019 and again in 2020, because Gaetz failed to affirm that he is properly handling and protecting any clients’ money in trust accounts. Lawyers must abide by strict rules to ensure they are not stealing or misusing money that belongs to the people they represent. In 2019, he also ran afoul of the professional organization’s “standards of civility” for serving the role of Trump attack dog. Gaetz threatened Trump Organization attorney-turned-whistleblower Michael Cohen on the eve of his tell-all congressional testimony, tweeting at him: “Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?” When Gaetz later apologized, the group’s grievance committee let him off the hook—but not before issuing a “letter of advice” that said his behavior was “unprofessional, reckless, insensitive, and demonstrated poor judgment.” Although Gaetz is a Republican who . . . read the full article here.