Aug 30, 2022 - News

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez to face criminal charges

Joe Martinez surrounded by other Miami-Dade commissioners and county officials at a press conference on July 28, 2006.

Joe Martinez surrounded by other Miami-Dade commissioners and county officials at a news conference in 2006. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez is expected to face criminal charges Tuesday as part of an investigation by the State Attorney’s Office.

What's happening: Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and county inspector general Felix Jimenez said in a statement that they plan to announce charges against Martinez on Tuesday afternoon.

  • While no further details were announced, multiple sources familiar with the probe told the Miami Herald that Martinez will be charged with unlawful compensation in connection to payments he allegedly received while writing legislation to benefit a shopping center in West Miami-Dade.

What they're saying: Martinez's attorneys released a statement Monday saying Fernandez Rundle directed Martinez to turn himself in "based on false allegations arising from his private practice work as a consultant when he was a private citizen and not an elected official."

Between the lines: Martinez's statement also questions the timing of the charges and their "political impact" as the commissioner runs for Miami-Dade sheriff.

  • "Whether this apparent conflict influenced the charging decision is unknown," the statement says.

Context: Miami-Dade currently does not have a sheriff. The last one was elected in the 1960s, according to the Herald. But a 2018 Florida referendum requires all counties to elect a sheriff.

  • Miami-Dade voters will do so in 2024.

What we're watching: If Martinez is charged, Gov. Ron DeSantis could appoint his replacement on the commission, the Herald reports.

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