House Speaker Steve Crisafulli suspended Reggie Fullwood Monday in a terse one-paragraph letter, bringing an ignominious end to his political career.
“As you are guilty of a felony,” Crisafulli writes, “you are suspended immediately.”
Fullwood is not entitled to pay for the rest of his term.
He also has to close his intraoffice expense account and return funds to the Florida House; all administrative activities of his office are transferred to the Office of House Administration.
Fullwood entered a guilty plea Thursday on two counts in his federal fraud trial, which set into motion a chain of events, including resigning Friday from his re-election campaign, and a Monday evening vote by the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee to replace him as a candidate.
Fullwood’s replacement to run for the House District 13 seat will be chosen at 6 p.m. during a meeting of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee at the IBEW Hall on Liberty Street.
Three-minute statements will be allowed, but not required, from interested candidates.
From there, the DEC will hold a vote.
The two most likely to emerge: former Duval County Deputy Supervisor of Elections Tracie Davis and current Duval County School Board member Paula Wright.
A source close to Fullwood had told this outlet on Friday that Fullwood had promised to resign voluntarily.
However, that didn’t happen, necessitating Crisafulli’s action.
Fullwood did send Crisafulli a letter after Crisafulli’s own letter on Monday explaining that he had an “intent to send this letter on Friday of last week, but it was being reviewed by my attorney.”
Fullwood did ask Crisafulli to “allow the District 13 staff to stay in place to address constituent issues and other concerns over the next 30 plus days until the new representative is elected in November.”
In his letter, Fullwood called the decision to resign the “toughest decision” that he ever had to make, predicated on a “very able judge” finding that his spending of over $60,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses “could be charged as wire fraud under federal law.”
“My options were to go to trial with an uncertain outcome and face the possibility of a lengthy appeal or seek an immediate resolution. As a father of three children,” Fullwood wrote, “I felt that bringing closure to this matter was the best choice.”