Read: Statement on Fernandez by the State Attorney's Office

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.,None —

The citizens of Central Florida today witnessed the culmination of a local government corruption investigation and prosecution by this office.  A complaint that citizens in our community have referred to as a Pay-to-Play scheme has come to a successful conclusion.

The unlawful compensation charge, as well as campaign finance law violations, pled to by former Orange County Commissioner Mildred Fernandez this morning highlights the effectiveness of the State Attorney‘s  Government  Accountability Unit, where citizens can make  legitimate complaints and demand fair, honest government and equal access to their elected officials.  This result reflects on the positive impact that inter-agency cooperation has when investigating these cases.

Although the defense attempted to cloak this investigation in a morass of politics, the truth is that it was an investigation that was initiated by victims of an unlawful and corrupt scheme.  Our victims in this corruption case, both of whom were Spanish speaking Central Florida businessmen, can feel vindicated by this result.

We want to thank the victims and witnesses for their courage and determination.  We also praise the outstanding work by FDLE, especially, Special Agent Eric Hernandez.

“It is my hope and prayer that this ugly chapter in government corruption is now closed and this will send a message to others who might have similar inclinations,” State Attorney Lawson Lamar.

“We believe that nearly two years in state prison is a just and fair conclusion and that it satisfies our community’s need for justice,” Randy Means, Director of Investigations.