Mildred Fernandez steps down as Orange Co. Commissioner

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.,None — Orange County Commissioner Mildred Fernandez has resigned her post just 12 days after cutting a plea deal in a corruption trial, WFTV learned Wednesday.

Five people have applied to replace her, including Lui Damiani, who was appointed interim commissioner.

Governor Rick Scott's office received her resignation letter on Tuesday.

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The letter consists of three short paragraphs. In the letter Fernandez wrote, "Serving as a county commissioner has been the greatest honor of my life. There is no other job where you get up every day and ask, 'How can I try to make Orange County a better place to live, work, and play?'"

Now that Fernandez has officially resigned, WFTV found out people who live in her former district could soon have a new commissioner.

When Fernandez was suspended, former Governor Charlie Christ appointed Damiani to the seat and was told he would have the job until Fernandez officially did not.

Now, Scott has the authority to remove Damiani and put a commissioner of his choice in that spot.

The other four who have applied for Fernandez's position are: Eric Lasso, a financial planner who owns his own firm and treasurer of his Lake Eola condo association, Rodney Reynolds, who is with a healthcare company out of St. Petersburg, real estate broker Jean Ruiz Sandor, who unsuccessfully ran for Orange County tax collector in 2008 and local church pastor Peter Vivaldi.

Fernandez pleaded no contest to two felonies and six misdemeanors. She is scheduled to be sentenced in January.