Embattled Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez on Tuesday as a result of Martinez’s arrest on corruption-related charges earlier this month.
The suspension was announced in a statement from DeSantis’ office, which said it was “in the best interest of the inhabitants of Miami-Dade County.” He noted that a commissioner will be chosen soon to take Martinez’s District 11 seat.
During the duration of this suspension, Martinez is not permitted to carry out any official acts, duties, or functions of public office; receive any compensation or benefits; or be entitled to any perks associated with holding public office, according to DeSantis’ order.
Martinez’s lawyer, Benedict Kuehne, issued a statement in which he criticized DeSantis’ choice and maintained that the allegations are “baseless” and “unfounded,” adding that Martinez looks forward to proving his reputation.
“Regardless matter who the Governor chooses to choose to fill the Miami-Dade County District 11 seat, the Commissioner pledges his support. Providing services and ensuring the safety of District 11 inhabitants and the whole community remain the most crucial concerns “The sentence was read. “Martinez anticipates receiving a full pardon and exoneration from all charges. He has dedicated his whole adult life to serving the public interest, so the outpouring of support and confidence from District 11 residents as well as those from around Miami-Dade County humbles him.”
Martinez was detained on August 30th on suspicion of receiving illegal remuneration and conspiring to get illegal pay.
The accusations originate from money Martinez reportedly collected in return for his assisting a supermarket owner and property owner who were experiencing problems with cargo storage containers, according to an arrest warrant.
The warrant said that the owners had been penalized tens of thousands of dollars for breaking a county rule that prohibited cargo storage containers on properties less than 10 acres.
According to the warrant, Martinez accepted three payments totaling $5,000 from the owner of the supermarket in exchange for his assistance in paying the fees and fines and for his assistance in creating legislation that would have amended the ordinance to permit one storage container on properties smaller than 10 acres.
Martinez’s attorneys claim that the accusations are politically motivated since Martinez is considering running for sheriff of Miami-Dade County.
After his detention, his lawyers released a statement saying that Martinez “makes plain that he is innocent of any crime and wants to vigorously strive to clear his reputation.”
The commission’s previous chairman twice previously was 64-year-old Martinez. He won the District 11 seat for the first time in 2000, declined to seek for reelection in 2012, and then won it back in 2016.
Martinez ran as a Republican for Congress in 2014 despite the Miami-Dade commission seat being nonpartisan.
According to Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, “What is most essential about our democracy is to have faith in the democratic process, therefore we are going to wait for our legal system to decide the next steps.”