ORLANDO, Fla. - 9 Investigates is looking into concerns over whether Orlando commission candidate Juan Lynum is qualified to run for his mother's city council seat.
Channel 9 first learned Monday that Lynum is claiming a homestead exemption in Sumter County, an exemption intended for permanent residents.
Now, according to a published report, Lynum has admitted that he doesn’t live at the house.
The Department of Revenue's website is pretty clear, as is the Orange County appraiser's website and the Sumter County website: To receive a homestead exemption, the home must be a resident's permanent residence.
To run for
City Council in Orlando, a candidate must have lived in his or her respective district for at least a year.
"Need someone who's lived in the area, knows the area," said Parramore resident Nathaniel Scarbourgh.
But some Parramore residents are skeptical whether Lynum really lives at the address he included on his paperwork, a home on Rock Lake Drive where his mother, District 5 commissioner Daisy Lynum, lives.
"I think they need to investigate further, I really do," said Scarbourgh.
Daisy Lynum withdrew her papers to run for re-election after her son entered the race just before the filing deadline.
But after Channel 9 reported that Juan Lynum claimed a homestead exemption in Sumter County, he admitted to the Orlando Sentinel that his wife and kids do live in Tampa while he lives in Orlando.
Juan Lynum, who refused to talk with Brown, added that his job is in Orlando. His law firm lists an Orlando office building as its address, a suite shared by 43 other businesses.
A receptionist told Brown he's only seen Lynum a few times.
City clerk Alana Brenner has not said whether she will investigate.
In 2010, Brenner did investigate and disqualified Vibert White, who ran against Daisy Lynum, for not adequately proving his residency.
White, a history professor at the University of Central Florida, said he thinks the city is turning a blind eye on Juan Lynum's case.
"It shows the city has degenerated into corruption, cronyism and bigotry," he said.
After Channel 9 brought discrepancies to
its attention, the Sumter County Property Appraiser's Office determined that Juan Lynum is allowed to receive the homestead exemption but no one there would elaborate as to why, citing confidentiality.