Fmr. Orlando x-way authority board member Marco Pena to plead guilty, will testify to grand jury

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A former member of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority will plead guilty to violating Florida’s Sunshine Law in return for cooperating with the state attorney’s office in its investigation of the agency.

State Attorney Jeff Ashton announced that Peña provided additional sworn testimony, and would be available to testify before the grand jury.

In return, Peña wil plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of violating Sunshine Law, and will pay a fine of $500. He will not serve jail time or probation.

Peña resigned from the board in May amidst the investigation. He cited personal reasons for resigning, but the state attorney’s office was already investigating him, Noranne Downs and Scott Batterson.

Batterson was indicted on felony bribery charges in April and was suspended by Gov. Rick Scott. Batterson and Peña were both appointed by Scott to serve on the board.

Scott recently signed a law that would dissolve the expressway authority and create a new, regional transportation agency.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.