DeSantis suspends Miami-Dade official from office in wake of felony arrest

Further cementing his reputation as a leader unwilling to tolerate lawlessness and corruption in government, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week suspended Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez from office following his arrest on felony charges, as the Miami Herald reports.

The governor’s decision was explained in an official memorandum detailing the basis for an Executive Order of Suspension issued on Tuesday, which noted that in late August, information had been issued against Martinez for charges of “unlawful compensation for official behavior” and “conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation.”

Commissioner out

DeSantis’ decision to remove Martinez – also a Republican – was not accompanied by any information on who might be named as a replacement, though according to provisions contained within the Florida Constitution, the governor has the authority to appoint someone to fill the role, something expected to happen imminently.

In response to the action, Martinez’ legal team issued a statement pledging the now-former commissioner’s “support to whomever the governor decides to appoint,” according to the Herald.

In addition, the official’s legal representatives issued a denial of the criminal charges that led to his removal from office, declaring that he and his attorneys “will focus on clearing his name and fighting these baseless allegations… .”

The outlet further noted that prosecutors allege that Martinez engaged in unlawful conduct linked to a $15,000 payment received from a business owner who stood to gain from legislation the recently-ousted official championed back in 2017.

The provisions in question were withdrawn by Martinez for consideration soon after they were filed, and the proposal never went any further, with the commissioner claiming that the funds were in fact proceeds from consulting work in which he was engaged before taking office.


The suspension of Martinez is just the latest in a string of decisive actions taken by DeSantis in cases involving possible or actual misconduct in office, with the governor having relieved six elected officials from their duties since August alone.

Early last month, DeSantis suspended progressive Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren from office, citing his explicit refusal to enforce state laws with which he disagrees, particularly those related to abortion, as the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“When you flagrantly violate your oath of office, when you make yourself above the law, you have neglected your duty and you are displaying a lack of competence to be able to perform those duties,” DeSantis said at the time, according to The Hill.

Also last month, DeSantis suspended multiple members of the Broward County School Board over troubling findings made by a grand jury probing the 2018 mass shooting event at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which suggested neglect of duty and incompetence on the part of the officials, as The Hill noted at the time.

Taken together, these actions are strong evidence of DeSantis’ admirable and unwavering commitment to the governmental accountability the citizenry deserves, and they only serve to bolster his credentials as precisely the sort of leader American voters wish to elect.