UPDATE 2:00 p.m.: Daisy Baez has resigned from officeFlorida Democratic legislators have lost another member to scandal -- on Wednesday, state Rep. Daisy Baez is expected to resign after months of controversy for living outside her district.
Politico Florida wrote Tuesday Baez is rumored to be resigning and pleading guilty to criminal charges of perjury for lying under oath about where she actually lived.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle determined Baez had been inconsistent in the statements she gave under under oath and Fernandez Rundle ultimately decided to press charges.
Baez will face misdemeanor charges and will have to pay $1,000, take an ethics course and be banned from serving a public office for one year.
During her probation, Baez is banned from running for office.
Baez’s residency woes made headlines this summer after the Miami Herald found Baez had been living in a house in HD 112, a little over a mile away from HD 114, the district she was actually elected to represent last November.
The Florida Constitution says state lawmakers must actually live in the districts they represent in Tallahassee.
Miami blogger Elaine de Valle reported that Baez seemingly acknowledged she sleeps outside her district in her Malaga Avenue house in HD 112, but Baez said she was on the hunt for a house inside HD 114 boundary lines -- nearly seven months after being elected to the Florida House of Representatives. “Right now, I’m sleeping at that house, yes. But I think I don’t want to talk about the situation any more,” she told de Valle at the time. “I’m trying to correct the situation.” A few weeks later, Baez apparently righted her situation and said she was a full-time resident in the district she should have been living in all along.
A Florida House ethics panel said last month there was “sufficient” evidence to conclude Baez failed to live in her district when she was sworn into office, a violation of Florida law.
With Baez's departure comes another opening for fresh blood in the Florida Legislature, which has seen incredibly high turnover in recent months.
Wednesday's resignation would be the second in less than a week for Florida Democrats, who lost their incoming Minority Leader Jeff Clemens when he resigned over reports of an extramarital affair with a Tallahassee lobbyist.
House Democrats will now only have 40 members in that chamber, giving the GOP a significant majority going into the 2018 legislative session.
Gov. Rick Scott will now have to call a special election to replace Baez, but a date has not yet been set. It is likely HD 114 will go through this year's upcoming legislative session without a House representative.