OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - After it was learned that his name was found on the clientele list of a suspected Orange County prostitution operation, state Rep. Mike Horner announced he would not run for re-election in November.
Horner, a Republican from Kissimmee, was running for his third term.
Now there are questions about whether he will relinquish his seat prior to the election.
A state House spokesman told WFTV's Kathi Belich on Tuesday that Horner's staffers are still on the public payroll, but no one answers at his Kissimmee or Tallahassee offices.
Currently, Horner is scheduled to stay in office until the November election, after which the winner will take over.
Even if someone were to file a complaint against Horner, the House Rules Committee couldn't deal with it until after the election, when he'd already be gone.
Osceola County's Republican leader said Horner's prostitution scandal could cost the local community.
"He was an integral part of
SunRail. He was a huge proponent of the educational system here in Osceola County, so in those respects his voice will be missed," said Danny Sexton, the Osceola County GOP chairman.
WFTV was told that Horner has admitted to associates that he patronized an east Orange County brothel more than once over the last year.
Public documents show that in 2011 Horner was paid more than $148,000 a year as the longtime president of the Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, and earned more than $41,000 at the state house.
Democrat Eileen Game, Horner's opponent in the upcoming election, doesn't address the scandal on her website, but does say she wants to restore integrity.
She describes Horner as a Gov. Rick Scott "pink slip puppet," and in July, three months after police raided the brothel, said Horner lied about having police union endorsements.
Republican leaders are working to find a candidate to replace Horner on the November ballot.
Horner came into the spotlight Monday when it was revealed that he was named in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act investigation.
Court documents show 54-year-old Mark David Risner was arrested and charged with running a prostitution operation out of an east Orange County house, which Risner owns, in the Royal Estates neighborhood near Dean Road and Colonial Drive.
Investigators said a client list from Risner's house included Horner's name.