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Rick Scott suspends Eatonville Mayor Anthony Grant

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Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Tuesday afternoon suspending Eatonville Mayor Anthony Grant over alleged violation of state election laws.

In Executive Order 16-88, Scott cited Grant’s recent indictment by an Orange County grand jury over allegations the mayor conspired to commit election fraud by intimidating voters and fraudulently handling six absentee ballots.

Grant, the chief municipal figure in the historically black Central Florida town, bonded out of jail on Tuesday after turning himself in to Orange County authorities late Monday night following a press conference along with associated Anthony Grant and Mia Nowells, who are also named in the indictment.

The trio is charged with 25 separate violations of state law, including 22 felony charges.

State law allows the governor to suspend any elected official indicted for suspected criminal activity.

Per Scott’s pronouncement, Grant is now “prohibited from performing any official act, duty, or function of public office; from receiving any pay or allowance; and from being entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of public office during the period of this suspension, which period shall be from today, until a further Executive Order is issued, or as otherwise provided by law.”

Vice Mayor Angela Thomas now assumes all responsibilities as the formal head of the Town of Eatonville.

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Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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