• DeLand commissioner removed from office as he faces drug charges

    By: Michael Springer

    Updated:

    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - With the stroke of the governor’s pen, a DeLand City commissioner is now out of office.

    Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., signed an executive order Friday removing Commissioner Jeff Hunter from office as he faces drug charges.

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement booked Hunter into jail in June on allegations he supplied his former girlfriend with hydrocodone pills at least seven times.

    FDLE agents said Hunter left his girlfriend several voicemails in which he discussed how many pain pills he legally had available.

    Read: DeLand city commissioner arrested on drug charge

    “[Hunter] has been a good member of our community and honestly a very caring person with a pretty big heard,” said DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar. “It’s just a very unfortunate set of circumstances and will let the system run its course.”

    Hunter’s removal puts the 59-year-old first-term commissioner and the city in uncharted waters. Apgar said it’s the first time in his 30-year history with the city that he can recall an elected official being removed from office by the governor.

    Download the free WFTV News & Weather apps

    The remaining three commissioners and the mayor will meet Monday evening to figure out the next step with guidance from the city’s legal counsel on how to fill Hunter’s vacant seat. 

    The governor could lift the suspension if Hunter is exonerated of the charges, effectively reinstating Hunter back into office.

    When Channel 9 talked to Hunter’s ex-girlfriend in December, she defended her ex-boyfriend Jose Santiago, who is charged with trying to defraud and extort money from Hunter.

    Read: DeLand man charged with trying to blackmail city commissioner, deputies say

    Next Up: