OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended an Osceola County commissioner who was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer.
The order from the governor said Commissioner Fred Hawkins cannot collect pay.
On Nov. 7, Hawkins allegedly attempted to gain access to an election of the Turnberry Reserve Homeowner’s Association, of which he was not a member, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. When a security guard prevented him from entering the room, he flashed sheriff’s office credentials, saying he was with the sheriff’s office and threatened her with arrest.
Hawkins is a special deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, which is an honorary title, according to the FDLE. He does not have the powers to make arrests; nor has he ever been a certified law-enforcement officer in Florida.
He was not requested by the sheriff’s office to take any action as a special deputy officer.
Community members have raised questions about whether Hawkins was within his rights to display a badge given to him as an Osceola County Sheriff’s Office special deputy during the incident.
Hawkins is serving his third term on the Osceola County Board of Commissioners. He served as chairman in 2010, 2014 and 2017.
Christina Johnson, a spokesperson for Fred Hawkins for State House campaign released the following statement:
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