The South Bay mayor whom Gov. Rick Scott suspended in December after she was charged with violating the Sunshine Law could return to the dais after winning a special election Tuesday.
Shirley Walker-Turner, who pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge, narrowly defeated former city clerk Virginia Walker in the city’s Seat 5 commission race.
Gov. Rick Scott’s office late Wednesday afternoon said it was reviewing the situation and declined to comment further.
Scott on Tuesday had said he would not try to block Walker-Turner from taking office if she won. The same went for John Wilson, another South Bay elected official he suspended in December and who was on Tuesday’s ballot, Scott said.
Wilson, who last week pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of violating Florida’s Sunshine Law, ended up losing in a three-way contest for Seat 4.
“The citizens in this area have the right to choose. They’ll have the right to choose whether they want to keep them or not,” Scott said Tuesday before the polls closed. If Walker-Turner or Wilson won, Scott said, “they’ll be re-elected, and they’ll be in office. I would not suspend them.”
Walker-Turner, meanwhile, is scheduled to go to trial on June 5.
She got 160 votes or 51.3 percent, and Walker got 152 votes or 48.7 percent.
In Seat 4, Shanique Scott got 38.7 percent to win the three-way race over Wilson and Olivia Anthony-Kerr, who each got 30.7 percent.
Unlike some other cities, South Bay does not require a runoff in races where no candidate gets a majority, Clerk Jessica Figueroa said.
Scott suspended Wilson, Walker-Turner and Vice Mayor Linda Johnson in December after they were charged with violating the law that requires public officials to conduct public business in the open.
Wilson, Walker-Turner and Johnson did not physically meet together but in a series of conversations each had with former city manager Corey Alston agreed to approve $25,139 in vacation pay for him.