Candidate to replace State Attorney Aramis Ayala hired for job at office prior to election

Video: Candidate to replace State Attorney Aramis Ayala hired for job at office prior to election

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — In just a few days we will know who voters choose to be the next state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties.

But on Friday, 9 Investigates discovered one candidate was just hired to work in the office.

Democrat Monique Worrell won in the primary election, and now faces Independent Jose Torroella.

Content Continues Below

Current State Attorney Aramis Ayala said there was an open position, so she filled it with the woman who she thought was best, and that was Worrell.

“After ongoing recruitment by the state attorney’s office to fill an open position in the conviction integrity unit, Ms. Worrell was hired on October 21, 2020, as an assistant state attorney because of her experience in, and proven commitment to, conviction integrity,” Ayala said in a statement.

Ayala has backed Worrell to be her successor.

Ayala said Worrell is being paid $50,000 a year, which is an entry-level salary for an assistant state attorney. She will make much more than that if elected.

Worrell’s opponent Torroella gave the following statement to Channel 9 about Worrell’s hiring:

“Ayala and Worrell were financed by the same organizations. They have similar political and prosecutorial agendas. They both worked together. And Mrs. Ayala has supported Worrell’s candidacy from the beginning. So it is not surprising.”

It’s unclear what would happen to this job if Worrell does not win Tuesday’s general election.

WFTV Debate for State Attorney's Office of the Ninth District: Jose Torroella and Monique Worrell