Sex For Speed Bumps? Florida Mayor Accused Of Soliciting Constituent

Catherine Padilla just wanted her city government to install speed bumps in her neighborhood to slow down cars and make her subdivision safer.
The Town Council eventually voted to pay for the speed bumps after she presented a petition signed by 71% of the residents in the area, but Padilla says one member of the council – Lantana Mayor David Stewart – said he could guarantee the vote if she agreed to have sex with him.
Padilla says the solicitation occurred in 2015. She filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics in January 2018, according to the Palm Beach Post.
“She said that Stewart drove her to a motel one day after they had lunch at Flanigan’s Seafood Bar and Grill in Lake Worth and said he wanted to ‘occupy’ a room with her, according to her complaint,” the Post reported. “She later told The Post the mayor said he wanted to have sex with her in the room. She told him ‘no’ and did not get out of the car.”
She also claimed that Stewart called her before the Town Council vote on the speed bumps and said it was not too late to sleep with him to ensure the vote. Padilla said she told him “no” again.
Padilla then claimed that after the successful vote, Stewart told her he would make sure the speed bumps were removed because she didn’t have sex with him and didn’t thank him for approving the safety measure, according to documents reviewed by the Post.
"The state commission notified Stewart of the complaint, per protocol. And on Jan. 11 of this year, Stewart went to Padilla’s home to talk about the complaint, according to the statement he gave to Lantana police,” the Post reported. “Padilla did not let him inside. Police described the visit as a ‘suspicious incident,’ but took no further action.”
Stewart told police that he knocked on Padilla’s side door during the visit, and she locked the door and closed the blinds. She claims he rattled the door, which Stewart denies.
He also denies soliciting Padilla for sex in exchange for the speed bumps, and says he never had lunch with her and never drove her to a motel. He told investigators he might have spoken with her on the phone about the speed bumps and “how he made an effort to get another town council member to vote to approve the traffic-calming cushions,” documents relating to the complaint said.
Commission investigators spoke to several witnesses involved in the matter. Lantana Town Manager Debbie Manzo said Padilla only told her about the solicitation in December 2017, and hadn’t heard any such complaints about Mayor Stewart. She also said he never tried to interfere in Padilla’s speed bump crusade.
Faith Family Church Pastor Michael DeBehnke told investigators that he saw Padilla and Stewart at the restaurant, something Stewart had denied.
Retired firefighter Kem Mason said Padilla told him in November 2017 about Stewart’s sexual advances, and Lantana resident David Brinkley said Padilla first told him of the incident in February 2018. She had said an article about her complaint would soon be published.
Stewart’s attorney, Mark Herron, told the commission that the timing of Padilla’s claim was suspicious and accused her of trying to plant memories in witnesses’ heads.
“The delay in making these allegations and her efforts to create witness recollections just before and after filing the complaint to bolster her credibility leads to the conclusion that the events alleged by the complainant did not occur as alleged” Herron wrote.
But the commission found “probable cause” that Stewart violated state statutes based on Padilla’s complaint.
“The commission’s official statement, released Wednesday, said it found probable cause Stewart used or attempted to use his position to secure a benefit for himself and that he solicited something of value from a constituent with the understanding that his vote, official action or judgment would be influenced,” the Post reported.
Stewart now has the option to settle the case or call for a hearing before an administrative law judge. If the judge finds him responsible, he could face removal from office and a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation.
Sex For Speed Bumps? Florida Mayor Accused Of Soliciting Constituent Sex For Speed Bumps? Florida Mayor Accused Of Soliciting Constituent Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on November 01, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.