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State Rep. Mike Horner resigns as Chamber of Commerce president

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - The state representative who appeared on a client list of an alleged Orange County brothel has resigned from the Osceola Chamber of Commerce, WFTV learned on Friday.

State Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, turned in his resignation for president of the commerce. But the board agreed to let him stay on until Jan. 31 as a transition period, allowing him to continue to collect his $148,000 a year salary.

Many of the board members said they were sad to see him go because he has done a lot, but they understand the decision.

The list was obtained by WFTV after Mark David Risner was arrested and charged with running a prostitution operation out of an east Orange County house that he owns.

The records indicate Horner wanted a threesome with two prostitutes in 2011. Notes from the alleged brothel that were obtained by WFTV include one which said Horner wanted "freaks" in bed.

Records show Horner had been going to the east Orange County house since at least 2009.

People in the community are outraged, especially since taxpayer dollars help fund the chamber. But some board members contend after 15 years of service, his knowledge is too valuable to push out now.

"He said it was a personal failing. It was failing to himself and to his wife, and he was very sorry for it," said Atlee Mercer, a Chamber of Commerce board member.

On Friday, the chamber allowed two media crews inside for a private board meeting but wouldn't let WFTV in, to protect Horner, saying he was upset because a WFTV reporter showed up at his home to try to ask questions. He wouldn't answer questions then, and apparently isn't ready to answer tough questions now about his alleged role in a criminal enterprise.

Not only did the board not fire Horner, it has directed two committees to consider paying him a severance package.

Horner has withdrawn from the November election, but he will keep his state seat until then.

Mike La Rosa will run in his place and face Democratic opponent Eileen Game.