Dyer To Be Suspended

Gov. Bush to suspend Orlando Mayor Dyer

Update 10:09 a.m. The key figure in the criminal probe, so-called ballot broker Ezzie Thomas, arrived at the jail’s booking facility with his attorney at 10:02 a.m.

Attorney Dean Mosley said an indictment does not mean his client is guilty. “It is the start of the prosecution for those who will be prosecuted and doesn’t necessarily mean that Mr. Thomas will be prosecuted.”

Update 9:51 a.m. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he will suspend Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer until the case is resolved.

Attorneys for the state and the city of Orlando are still studying the city charter and the state constitution to determine the process for suspension.

“In cases where there has been a felony indictment, we have suspended. Consistency is important in a case like this, and our objective would be, one way or another, to act today,” Bush said.

The governor’s legal office is researching whether Bush would appoint Dyer’s successor, or if the city charter provides for a line of succession.

Bush, visiting the University of Central Florida campus this morning, said he did not know whether Dyer would be suspended today, but that it is his policy to suspend public officials under indictment.

Update 9:41a.m. Dyer’s campaign manager Patti Sharp, a longtime Democratic strategist, arrived at the jail at 9:37 a.m. with her attorney and turned herself in on an arrest warrant. She had no immediate comment.

Update 9:34 a.m. Dyer and Apte are charged with “providing pecuniary gains for absentee ballot possession or collection.” Dyer and Apte left the jail at 9:14 a.m. without comment. With Dyer was his Deputy Chief of Staff, Orlando Police Capt. Joe Robinson. Apte exited the jail with his attorney. Dyer and Apte were booked and released on their own recognizance.

Update 9:19 a.m. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer showed up at the Orange County Jail at 8:35 a.m. today to be booked on charges stemming from an indictment handed up by a grand jury Thursday.

Dyer was joined by agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and faced a crowd of television news cameras when he arrived.

“I haven’t seen the charges, but I will have a statement for everybody later today,” Dyer said. Dyer entered the jail, greeted a clerk with a cheery, “Good morning,” and was taken to a secure area to be processed.

Orange Circuit Judge Alan Apte showed up 8:26 a.m. at the Orange County Jail with his attorney and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents this morning to be booked on an arrest warrant issued as part of an indictment from the grand jury.

By Mark Schlueb | Orlando Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted March 11, 2005, 10:09 AM EST

Orlando Sentinel staff writer David Damron contributed to this item.

3 Comments so far

  1. Jenn (unregistered) on March 11th, 2005 @ 10:35 am

    Excellent info Chari, thanks for sharing!! :0)
    Have a peachy TGIF!

  2. The Masked Blogger (unregistered) on March 11th, 2005 @ 11:08 am

    Great update Chari! Like you, I thought it was convenient that Jeb was in town at UCF. Guess we’ll see what happens with that by this afternoon. Like AnnMarie commented in the previous post, I never really thought anything would come of this investigation.

    Hope you’re able to make it Saturday night to the MetroBlog Meetup so we can all get a chance to meet you.

    Glad to see some bloggers jumped on this and posted.

  3. zee (unregistered) on March 11th, 2005 @ 2:37 pm

    Excellent update, Chari. Thanks for keeping us updated. I just arrived home and it was great to come to the MetBlog to get the lastest information. :o)

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