SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. — Two Sumter County commissioners were arrested Wednesday, both accused of lying under oath.
According to Marion County arrest affidavits, Oren Miller, 71, and Gary Search, 71, are both accused of lying while making statements under oath to the state attorney as part of a criminal investigation related to possible Sunshine Law violations.
The state attorney’s office said two citizen complaints in March and another complaint from an attorney in June led them to investigate allegations that the two commissioners were communicating outside of official commission proceedings.
Phone records obtained by the state attorney’s office showed Miller and Search used their personal cell phones to communicate more than 40 times between November 2020, when they were both elected, until June 2021.
When questioned about the phone records under oath, investigators said both men lied. Miller said the two hadn’t spoken on their cell phones since January 2021, and Search said they hadn’t spoken on the telephone at all.
The arrest affidavit says many of the phone calls between the two commissioners happened either just before or just after Sumter County Commission meetings.
Both men were released from Sumter County jail on $2,000 bond.