Ron DeSantis Orders Suspension of Top Official
(UnitedVoice.com) – Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has made it clear he intends to hold public officials accountable in his state. He’s doing that by suspending those who aren’t performing their job duties or who violate the rules. Recently, the conservative issued an executive order to that effect.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Suspended
On September 20, DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-215, suspending Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose Angel Martinez from his position representing District 11. The order came after the official’s arrest at the end of August for allegedly committing a felony.
On August 30, police arrested Martinez after obtaining a warrant from the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Court. The warrant alleges that the public official accepted money from Jorge Negrin, the owner of Extra Supermarket, in exchange for Martinez’s help with code enforcement. The warrant also alleges Martinez drafted legislation that would benefit Negrin, the supermarket, and the store’s landlord, Calle Ocho Properties.
Investigators provided a timeline of Martinez’s alleged crimes. According to the document, the commissioner won reelection in August 2016. A few months later, in November, Negrin reportedly paid Martinez $5,000. In December, the timeline shows there was another exchange of $5,000. At that time, conversations began about Martinez helping with a rule allowing only one storage container on properties.
The warrant accused Martinez of accepting more money over time to handle the container problem. In response, he allegedly drafted the legislation. Yet, he never brought it to the rest of the County commissioners for a vote.
DeSantis’ order states he will appoint someone else to take over Martinez’s position.
Not the First Suspension
DeSantis’ order concerning Martinez comes less than two months after DeSantis suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren. On August 4, the governor issued an order suspending the 13th Judicial Circuit prosecutor for neglect of duty.
Warren’s suspension came after he said he would not prosecute people who receive an abortion or any doctor who performs the procedure. The governor accused the prosecutor of putting “himself publicly above the law,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. He added, “Our government is a government of laws, not a government of men.”
DeSantis used a clause under the state Constitution to effectively fire him, a decision Warren has appealed, saying he is the “duly elected state attorney for Hillsborough County.”
Although Martinez’s case is vastly different than Warren’s, they both demonstrate how seriously DeSantis takes his responsibility and authority.
How do you feel about these moves? Do you agree with DeSantis?
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