Would-be Jailbird Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard’s Fate Going To Voters Before Jurors

by | Aug 28, 2018

The prospect of jail time for incumbent Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard is hanging over today’s primary election in Stuart.
Heard, who was accused of messing with Florida’s constitutionally-guaranteed government in the sunshine and is facing a trial in December, is up for a fifth term and hopes to beat three other Republican candidates, businesswoman Niki Norton, Heard’s most serious challenger, Butch Olsen and Harold Markey.
But because the race for District 4 has no Democrats, the winner of today’s primary will win the $63,500-job without another vote. And Heard could end up serving a criminal sentence while serving the citizens of Martin County. 
In the crowded field, the incumbent fell behind in fundraising early on. In June, Heard reported raising just $5,000, and that was a personal loan to the campaign.
By mid-July, however, the money started coming in and, in her last report before today’s election, Heard reported raising a total $40,000.
Incidentally, instead of qualifying via a voters’ petition, Heard chose the path that kept her off the streets and in front of citizens, and paid the county $3,810 to be able to run.
Norton, who did gather signatures, raised more than any other candidate with a total loot of $50,880 while Olsen grabbed $9,800 and Markey $22,525.
So, who’s supporting the would-be jailbird?
Chief among Heard’s donors are former Martin County Commissioner Anne Scott and her husband, Stuart, both Jupiter Island residents who ponied up $1,000 each.
It so happens Scott, a former judge in Chicago, is up on four charges of public records violations. Her trial is scheduled on the same day as Heard’s, Dec. 10.
Among Heard’s other sugar mommies and sugar daddies who, according to election records, ponied up $1,000 a pop are several of Anne Scott’s buddies and neighbors: Jupiter Island developer George Banks and his wife, Jennifer; Stuart arborist Harold O’Connell and his wife, Sara; and former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall, a Palm City voter and vocal critic of the high-speed train service from Miami to Orlando.
Heard, Scott and outgoing County Commissioner Ed Fielding all have a date with jurors in separate cases during the end-of-year holidays.
The charges — failure by a public official to permit inspection of records and failure to maintain public records, misdemeanors that carry up to a year in jail each – were brought by State Attorney Bruce Colton’s office. They center on the trio’s email exchanges with environmentalist Maggy Hurchalla, who lobbied them in 2013 to sabotage a land deal the county hammered out with developer Lake Point LLC.
When it started preparing lawsuits against the county and other government entities, Lake Point asked to see the emails. They ended up being stored in the trio’s personal servers even though they should’ve been in county government servers, delaying the releases of the email for years.
Heard’s excuses may have been the most outrageous. Among other things, she claimed her Yahoo account, where her emails with Hurchalla were supposed to be, was hacked and she couldn’t find them.

1 Comment

  1. Peggy

    GO SARAH!

    Reply

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