Saturday, April 13

Former Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie pleads guilty in public corruption case

Disgraced former Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie has pleaded guilty to a pair of misdemeanor charges stemming from her 2018 arrest.Haynie was in a Palm Beach County courtroom Thursday morning as she entered a guilty plea to two first-degree misdemeanors — misuse of public office or employment and failure to disclose voting conflicts.Under the terms of her plea agreement, the remaining charges against her will be dropped.As part of the plea deal, Haynie was sentenced to 12 months of probation and may not seek or hold public office during that time. She was also sentenced to one day in jail but received credit for time served.Haynie was arrested in 2018 on several charges, including three counts of official misconduct.According to a probable cause affidavit, Haynie failed to disclose income that she and her husband collected while she was in office, including payments from a developer who did business with the city.An investigation by the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office began in March 2017 after receiving complaints that Haynie “used her position to vote on issues having a favorable financial impact on a developer who owns a substantial amount of property” in the city.Detective Diana Burfield wrote in the affidavit that Haynie falsified her required state financial disclosure forms in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by “omitting the fact that she was being compensated” by developer James Batmasian.According to records from the Florida Division of Corporations, Susan and Neil Haynie were listed as managing members of a company called Community Reliance LLC when it was founded in 2008. Susan Haynie was listed as a managing member until 2016, when her husband became sole managing member.The investigation revealed that the association at Tivoli Park, a condominium owned by Batmasian, hired Community Reliance LLC and paid the company at least $12,000 per year to manage the property. Susan Haynie told ethics investigators in a sworn statement that her husband had not been paid, but Batmasian’s wife claimed that he had, Burfield wrote.”Susan Haynie voted on four occasions during 2016 and 2017 while being compensated by the people benefiting from the outcomes of the votes,” Burfield wrote. “During 2016, Susan Haynie and her husband, through the companies they operated, received a total of $77,843.13 in 2016 and $36,835.39 in 2017. This income was undisclosed.”

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