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DeSantis, quick to suspend Democrats, finally gives Miami-Dade’s Joe Martinez equal treatment

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For a governor who used the suspension of local elected officials to put Republicans in control of Florida’s Democratic districts, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis acted like a regular governor when Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez commented on Tuesday.

Martinez’s removal from office does not affect the party balance on the non-partisan committee. He is a conservative Republican who represents a red zone in West Miami-Dade. DeSantis will certainly appoint another governor to fill the seat. For this reason, there was a fear that the governor—who was so excited about the suspension of the Democratic District Attorney for Tampa Bay and four school board members in blue Broward County—would drag his feet on Martinez. His three-week wait after the commissioner was arrested on criminal charges on August 30 contrasts with the week DeSantis waited after issuing a grand jury report to dispose of school board members.

Under the Florida Constitution, DeSantis . did not You have To remove Martinez. To do so was, however, the right choice and within his power. Suspending elected officials accused of a crime is normal for conservatives. What’s unnatural is the political circus created by DeSantis with Hillsborough County District Attorney Andrew Warren impeached for pledging not to prosecute abortion cases.

Unlike Martinez, Warren was disqualified for what he said, not for what he claimed to have done. No abortion cases have been brought before Warren’s office, and the state’s 15-week abortion ban is being challenged in court under the claim that it violates the state constitution. DeSantis’ move was clearly political, and Warren filed a pending lawsuit to reinstate his position.

In an appeal to the governor’s thirst for political clashes, Martinez attempted to frame his arrest as a successful act by Catherine Fernandez-Randel, the state attorney for Miami-Dade, a Democrat. Her office accuses him of accepting $15,000 in law sponsorship more than five years ago to help a shopping district that has been repeatedly hit with fines for violations of the law.

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“As an outspoken member of the Commission, Commissioner Martinez has publicly disagreed with the attorney general on important issues,” said a statement from Martinez’s legal team released late last month. The statement also stated that the question of whether a political conflict between Fernandez Randle and Martinez led to his prosecution “is a matter that will be brought to the attention of Florida DeSantis Governor,” the Herald reported.

It seems that even for the boxer governor, Martinez’s argument fails.

Martinez will have the opportunity to make his case in court. If he is acquitted, he must be reinstated and his mandate terminated. Meanwhile, the impeachment of the commissioner accused of corruption is, in the governor’s own words, “in the best interests of the residents of Miami-Dade County, and the citizens of Florida.”

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