Gov. DeSantis suspends 2 Sumter County commissioners accused of lying under oath

SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed executive orders on Thursday suspending two Sumter County commissioners who were arrested last month 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.

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The executive orders state the men were suspended from public office “in the best interests of the residents of Sumter County, and the citizens of the State of Florida.”

Both men, according to the orders, are prohibited from performing any official act or duty during the period of the suspension.

READ: 2 local county commissioners accused of lying under oath

Investigators said 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.

READ: The Villages resident accused of casting more than 1 ballot in election

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.