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Politics

Daisy Baez Resigned over Juggling Residences, Same Issue Plaguing Janet Cruz

October 24, 2018 - 6:00am
Daisy Baez and Janet Cruz
Daisy Baez and Janet Cruz

State Rep. Janet Cruz is under fire for the same political deception that forced the resignation of her Florida House colleague Daisy Baez one year ago.

A week after resigning from office, fellow Democrat Baez pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying about her address on a voter-registration form.  Cruz, who represents residents in HD 62, also used a different address on her form than her actual residence.

There is an ethics complaint filed against the term-limited Cruz, who is fighting an uphill battle to unseat incumbent state Sen. Dana Young in Hillsborough County. Have a look at the complaint by clicking HERE.

In addition to resigning, Baez paid a $1,000 fine, took an ethics course and served one year of probation, during which time she hasn’t been able to run for public office, according to the plea agreement.  

While the ethics complaint was pending against Baez, Cruz, in a statement as minority leader, did not address the merits of the allegations.

“I consider Rep. Baez a friend and I know her to be a dedicated public servant,’’ Cruz said. “I look forward to this issue receiving a fair review under the process in place and it is my hope a timely resolution can be reached,”

Not exactly a stand-up gal.  Maybe that was because Cruz essentially walks the same ethical/criminal tightrope that Baez was found guilty of.

A 51-page complaint filed against Cruz on Oct. 11 by Tampa resident Rocio Paulsen, notes records show Cruz owns two homes, both in Jackie Toledo’s South Tampa HD 60. One is located at 4114 W. Empedrado St., the other at 4428 W. Wisconsin Ave. Cruz’s husband owns another home in HD 60, at 5035 W. San Miguel St.

Property records for Cruz’s Empedrado Street property list her mailing address as her husband’s home on San Miguel; a car registration for a 2016 BMW 328 also lists the San Miguel residence as her mailing address.

Earlier this year credibility problems by Cruz-Rifkin (her nonpolitical surname) surfaced again when she repaid $32,000 plus fees and penalties to the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser for claiming two homestead exemptions.

During the 2016 campaign, Baez was not actually living in the district for which she was running. Investigators believe Baez lied when she filled out a voter registration form changing her address to a condo in the district days before the November 2016 election.

On the form, Baez claimed to reside at the Anderson Avenue condo in the district.

But her friend, Maritza Jacobson, told investigators Baez asked if she could list her home as her residence. Baez, while signing a lease indicating she rented a room at the condo, “never moved in nor did she ever stay at their residence for a single night,” according to a statement released by prosecutors.

“Deliberately swearing to false information essential to your role as a state legislator, as alleged in this case, eats at the credibility of our voting and political systems,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said in a statement. “I believe that there can never be a good reason for such action.”

Jim Bleyer, a former reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Tribune, writes the Tampa Bay Beat blog.

Comments

Well, Trump and his convicts have proven that habitual lying is O.K. with Republicans ... so ... what's the big deal here ??? A guy just arrested for sexual assault on an airplane told the cops that if Trump could do it, he should be able to do it! Same thing here with Cruz and Baez, no?

Webb Hubble is Chelse Clinton's father ?

Throw the book at any politician acting in this manner. This seems to be a part of a democrats playbook? Where there is one liar there are more liars. The democrats will go all in to cheat. There are more of these cheaters across the country? The biggest lately............ Diane Feinstein. The leaker of the Professor Ford letter. I hope that this investigation is going on to remove Feinstein from office for Treason !

Check the number of Republican mooks connected to Trump that have been indicted, pled guilty, or were found guilty of various federal offenses thus far ... with more to come. And, if you're worried about "cheaters" ... check out Trump's cheating on his wives and his serial adultery ... his boys Manafort and Cohen mega-cheating on their taxes ... and ... while you're at it ... check out the definition of "treason" ... and wait to see if Mueller finds grounds for Trump to be officially "removed from office"! The "Trump Swamp" is FILLED with "CHEATERS" and "LIARS"! Get real!

I know Janet Cruz because I went to her office with an issue and she and her staff were so helpful. She was there and actually worked with me on an issue that wasn’t even a state issue but put me in touch with congresswoman Castor’s office, then called Senator Nelson’s office and she made sure I wasn’t overlooked. You can try all you want to discredit Janet but she is a hero to so many in her district and to so many other single mothers. She is real, she cares about others and is accessible. The rest of you on this blog haven’t even met her- know nothing about her but she took the time to get to know me and for me to get to her know and I have never met a more dedicated politician than Janet Cruz. Jim whatever your last name is should be fired. Because you are nothing but a liar. Or better yet, just go work for Trump- you will fit right in.

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