Gov. DeSantis removes Tallahassee commissioner from office after corruption pleas

Tallahassee City Hall. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday removed Scott Maddox, a city commissioner in the state capital, from office following his guilty pleas to three federal corruption charges.

The governor cited his authority under state law to remove “any person who pleads guilty” to a crime. DeSantis had suspended Maddox from the Tallahassee City Commission on Dec. 12, after he was indicted on 48 counts including racketeering, bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution, extortion, and honest services fraud.

Maddox, who’d served for decades at City Hall, entered a plea bargain on Tuesday on fraud and conspiracy counts. So did Paige Carter Smith, a former aide. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle set sentencing for Nov. 19.

Another defendant, local businessman John “J.T.” Burnette, faces trial on Nov. 4.

Also on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe in Tallahassee announced his formation of a public-trust unit to investigate public corruption in Florida’s Northern District, which ranges from Pensacola to Gainesville.

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