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Suspended Boca Raton mayor goes to trial in March in corruption scandal

Brooke Baitinger, Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Former Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie will defend herself against corruption charges in early 2020.

The two-term mayor's trial will start March 23 and could determine whether she'll spend up to 23 years in prison for misusing her office.

Haynie is charged with perjury in an official proceeding, misuse of public office, corrupt misuse of public office and failure to disclose a voting conflict. She also faces three counts of official misconduct.

Haynie, who hasn't resigned as mayor, was first elected to the City Council in 2000 and served until 2006. She was reelected in 2008 and 2011, then became mayor in 2014 and was reelected in 2017.

When Haynie was arrested in April of 2018, she was accused of lying about money she took from developers and hiding more than $335,000 in income, among other violations cited in an arrest report.

Former Gov. Rick Scott suspended her after her arrest, and she dropped out of a race for County Commission. She can be reinstated as mayor if she is found not guilty.

Prosecutors say Haynie failed to disclose her income while conducting business through her husband's property management company, Community Reliance, and real estate they owned from 2014 to 2017.

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Haynie is also accused of voting favorably on issues to benefit local developer James Batmasian through his Investments Limited firm.

Before her arrest, Haynie agreed to a reprimand and was fined $500 in a case before the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics over her failure to disclose a conflict of interest with Batmasian.

Haynie was not in the courtroom Tuesday; she is excused from attending all pre-trial hearings in her case.

(c)2019 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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