Article Courtesy of The Miami
By Patricia Mazzei
Published November 2, 2017
State Rep. Daisy Baez will resign her Florida House
seat Wednesday ahead of pleading guilty to perjury in a criminal case
over her legal residency, she told the Miami Herald late Tuesday.
As part of an
agreement with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the
Coral Gables Democrat will also pay a $1,000 fine, take an
ethics course and serve one year of probation, during which
she’ll be banned from seeking public office.
“On November 1, I will tender my resignation as a member of
the Florida House of Representatives,” Baez said in a
statement. “I want to thank the residents of Florida,
Miami-Dade County and District 114 for giving me the
opportunity to serve, it’s been a great honor.
“When I began my service as a Representative last year, I
vowed to serve the public interest to the best of my ability
and I am confident I have done so. As I return to my life as
a private citizen, I pledge to continue fighting for
universal healthcare, empowering our teachers, and improving
the quality of life for the youngest, most vulnerable
State Rep. Daisy Baez, D-Coral Gables, pictured
during this year’s legislative session.
Baez was returning to Miami on Tuesday from the
Dominican Republic, where she buried her mother, who died last week.
Prosecutors began investigating after the Herald reported on May 16that
Baez did not appear to live in House District 114, as required by the
Florida Constitution. She claimed she rented an apartment inside the
“I have two residences,” she said.
But investigators found she lived in the home she owns in House District
112 — and did not lease a third rental property in House District 114
until after the Herald published its story.
The controversy forced Baez to drop out of a high-profile race for state
Senate District 40. She had been tapped by top Florida Democrats, who
considered her a rising party star, even though she was a freshman
representative with only one legislative session under her belt.
Baez was elected last November to a swing seat previously held by
Republican Rep. Erik Fresen. Her resignation will leave Democrats with
only 40 lawmakers in the 120-member House, giving Republicans a
Prosecutors questioned Baez earlier this month, shortly after a House
committee found probable cause to investigate a citizen complaint in
June over Baez’s residency. That investigation could have resulted in
Baez’s expulsion from the chamber; the committee issued subpoenas last
week to depose witnesses in the case, though the depositions were pushed
back after the death of Baez’s mother.
Following Baez’s resignation, the House investigation will now be moot.