DeSantis suspends another official from his duties | Florida

(The Center Square) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended another public official, this time Miami-Dade-District 11 County Commissioner Jose Angel Martinez, after his arrest Aug. 30.

Martinez was arrested “for felony of unlawful compensation for official conduct … and conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation,” in violation of state laws, which are second and third degree felonies, the office said. of the governor.

DeSantis’ communications director released a statement saying that “it is in the best interest of the people of Miami-Dade County that Martinez be immediately suspended from the public office he holds” and that his replacement be named in the next weeks.

Martinez first held his nonpartisan District 11 seat in 2000. He ran for Congress in 2014 as a Republican and lost. He then ran for county commissioner again in 2016 and won. He was re-elected in 2020.

According to his arrest warrant, Martinez allegedly accepted a total of $15,000 in payments from a supermarket and an owner who was fighting a county order and subsequent fines for violating, NBC News Miami reported. The owner is said to have made the payments while pressuring the commissioners to change the order.

Martinez’s attorney, Benedict Kuehne, released a statement saying the charges were “baseless” and “baseless”. While Martinez is eager to clear his name, Kuehne said, he’s also supportive of whoever DeSantis chooses to replace him.

“The commissioner offers his support to anyone the governor decides to appoint to the Miami-Dade County District 11 headquarters,” Kuehne said. “The most important issue continues to be providing services and protecting the well-being of District 11 residents and our entire community.

“Commissioner Martinez looks forward to being fully exonerated and cleared of any wrongdoing. He has dedicated his entire adult life to serving the best interests of the public and he is touched by the outpouring of support and trust from locals. of District 11 and all of Miami. -Dade County.”

According to Article IV, Section 7(a) of the Florida Constitution, the governor may suspend from office any county officer for committing a felony.

DeSantis did so by executive order, which prohibits Martinez “from performing any official act, duty or function of public office; to receive remuneration or an allowance; and not to be entitled to any emoluments or privileges of public service during the period of such suspension.

Martinez is the latest to lose his job after the governor issued executive orders last month to suspend four members of the Broward County School Board “for their incompetence, negligence and abuse of authority” and to suspend State’s Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit is citing “negligence of duty” for swearing not to prosecute people who violate the state’s new abortion ban law.

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