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Florida Mayor Allegedly Tried to Trade Speed Bumps for Sex

Constituent filed complaint against Lantana mayor in January
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2018 5:26 PM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / brianbalster)

(Newser) – A Florida mayor allegedly offered a constituent speed bumps in exchange for sex. The Florida Commission on Ethics announced last week it found probable cause that David Stewart, mayor of Lantana since 2000, violated state statutes in the case by "misus[ing] his position to attempt to obtain a sexual benefit for himself" and "solicit[ing] sex from a constituent based on an understanding his vote, official action, or judgment would be influenced." He can now decide whether to settle the case or go before an administrative law judge for a hearing to decide whether he violated the statutes, the Palm Beach Post reports. . The case started when Catherine Padilla, who became friendly with Stewart years ago through the Kiwanis Club, filed an ethics complaint against the mayor in January.

Padilla, who had been petitioning the town for speed bumps in her neighborhood after seeing animals and a child hit by cars on her street, per the Washington Post, said that three years prior, Stewart took her to lunch, then drove her to a motel and asked to "occupy" a room with her. She says he told her he'd "make sure" the neighborhood got the speed bumps if she had sex with him. She declined and wouldn't get out of the car. She says he later called her, before the Town Council voted on the matter, to tell her it wasn't too late to take him up on his offer; she again said no. The speed bumps were ultimately approved in 2015, but Padilla says after the vote, Stewart told her that he would get the speed bumps removed since she hadn't slept with him or thanked him for the devices being approved. Stewart denies the allegations, but Padilla said last week that he should step down from his office. (A speed bump was the subject of this odd lawsuit.)

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