Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has rightly removed two Sumter County Commissioners from office after they were arrested on perjury about Sunshine law charges. Phone records establish they lied about talking to each other. Sounds like an open and shut case of perjury.
Pursuant to Article IV, Section 7 of our Florida Constitution, the two are removed from office until charges are resolved. The pair of alleged rebarbative reprobate Republicans live in The Villages, which has four other current residents charged with illegal voting.
Meanwhile, in St. Johns County, fomrer County Commissioners have explained that Commissioners can hear each other talking in their offices, which are right next door to one another.
In order to communicate and violate Sunshine, all a St. Johns County Commissioner would have to do would be to leave their door open, so that what they say in their office is heard by their fellow Commissioners in their office.
You've got to hand it to the Dull Republican regime in St. Johns County -- when they blew $16 million on the County Administration Building Taj Mahal at 500 Sebastian View, they knew what they were doing.
Their Edifice Complex is imposing, and not in the right way,
The pompous building lacks so much as a government documents referemnce library or a coffee machine for the public, while lobbyists are invited upstairs for meals and ex parte contacts.
When The Issues Group was picking our Commissioners for devious developers, they didn't need to bother with Sunshine violations, their allegiance having already been secured with campaign contributions. But having their doors right next to each other was an architectural feature, not a flaw -- it allows Commissioners to keep an eye on one another and their associations.
In fact, one erstwhile Commissioner, Republican CYNTHIA WARD STEVENSON -- who now encumbers the Florida State House of Representatives seat 17 for which I filed to run -- once complained about a visitor waiting to see a fullow Commissioner, WILLIAM ANTHONY McCLURE. Talk about chutzpa -- STEVENSON, whose father was a Volusia County Commissioner, supposed that she had a Philistine's veto on whether McCLURE could talk to Michael Gold Historic City News blogger.
2 Commissioners Removed From Office After Perjury Charges
Two county commissioners in central Florida have been suspended from office, several weeks after being arrested and charged with lying during an investigation of possible Sunshine Law violations.
By Associated Press
Jan. 6, 2022, at 8:31 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Two county commissioners in central Florida were suspended from office Thursday, several weeks after being arrested and charged with lying during an investigation of possible Sunshine Law violations.
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued two executive orders to remove Sumter County commissioners Oren Miller and Gary Search from their elected offices until their criminal cases are resolved, in accordance with state law. Miller and Search were arrested Dec. 15 and charged with perjury.
DeSantis, Miller and Search are all Republicans. Miller and Search are both residents of The Villages, a massive retirement community.
Florida's Sunshine Law requires public access for any gathering of two or more members of the same government board to discuss a matter that could foreseeably come before that board for action. The Fifth Circuit State Attorney’s Office initially received three complaints last year that Miller and Search were communicating through Miller's wife.
Phone records showed Miller and Search contacted each other directly over 40 times between November 2020, when they were both elected, and July 2021, prosecutors said. Miller told investigators the calls stopped in January or February after they realized the communication might be an issue, and Search told investigators he had no contact with Miller outside public meetings, according to court documents. The phone records showed that nearly half of the calls between the two men were made after January 2021.before or just after scheduled county commission meetings, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys for Miller and Search didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment from The Associated Press.