Buddy Dyer sets May 21 Special Election to replace Regina Hill

-regina hill
Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended the Orlando City Commissioner after an elderly exploitation arrest.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has announced a Special Election on May 21 to replace suspended City Commissioner Regina Hill.

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Hill last week following the City Commissioners arrest on charges of elderly exploitation and fraud. Orlando’s city charter requires the Mayor, in the event of a vacancy on the City Council, to call a Special Election for someone to temporarily fill the seat.

Candidates may file for the position beginning at noon Monday. Candidates must complete the qualification process by 5 p.m. on April 16.

That leaves fewer than eight days for candidates to commit to running and to appear on the ballot.

The city will open early voting on May 13, with Election Day set for May 21. A runoff, if necessary, will be held on June 18.

Hill held the District 5 seat on City Council, and the city holds single-member district elections, so only voters in that district will be able to vote.

Hill, 58, has served on the Commission for 10 years but was charged with three counts of elderly exploitation of more than $50,000, one count of scheming to defraud of more than $50,000, one count of mortgage fraud of more than $100,000 and one count of fraudulent use of personal identification of more than $100,000.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers conducted a 13-month investigation into Hill, who is alleged to have taken advantage of a 96-year-old resident, drawing down $100,000 from her account for personal expenses. According to police, those expenses included a trip to Miami, vitamins, dental surgery, perfume and a facelift.

Hill has bonded out of jail. A judge set special conditions that Hill not have any contact with the victim of the alleged crime, and that she not access any money held in joint accounts shared with the victim.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for April 16.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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