TC Palm by Emily Bohatch
January 4, 2017
Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard and former Commissioner Anne Scott turned themselves in to the Martin County Jail on Thursday as they face new charges of public records violations, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.
Heard and Scott had a warrant for their arrests detailing charges of two counts of public records law violations each, spokeswoman Christine Christophek said.
In late November, Heard and Scott were charged the first time on public records-related charges. Scott faced criminal misdemeanor charges for failure to allow inspection of public records, and was arrested.
Heard, on the other hand, faced a noncriminal infraction in November, to which she pleaded not guilty that month.
Heard and Scott were released from the Martin County Jail on their own recognizance, which means neither was required to pay bail, Christophek said.
The charges stem from the county’s long-running civil lawsuit with Lake Point rock quarry and allegations that county commissioners destroyed or failed to produce emails pertinent to the case.
A knowing violation of public records law by an elected official is a first-degree misdemeanor, according to state law. It also can be grounds for removal from office or impeachment, the law says.
An unknowing violation of public records law by a public official can result in a noncriminal infraction punishable by a fine up to $500, according to Florida law.
Commissioner Ed Fielding also faces criminal charges. He was arrested in November. [READ MORE]