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Former Everglades City Mayor Arrested For Grand Theft

Timothy Wildey
Everglades City's city hall

Former Everglades City Mayor Sammy Hamilton was arrested by theFlorida Department of Law Enforcementand the Collier County Sheriff's Office. He is facing charges of one count of grand theft and 16 counts of official misconduct.

After serving more than two decades as mayor, Hamilton resigned in September of last year — just days before Hurricane Irma.

FDLE began investigating the former mayor that same month after two criminal complaints were filed against him.

Up until his resignation, Hamilton held control of Everglades City's financial accounts and had been the sole signature on city checks, despite city mandates requiring the secondary signature of the city clerk.

FDLE's investigation revealed Hamilton had used this to authorize 16 fraudulent checks, which were misrepresented as official business.

Officials say he also stole nearly $48,000 in taxpayer dollars, which he used to pay for boat parts, construction materials, equipment and development fees.

The 84-year-old was booked into the Collier County Jail on Monday and will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 20th Judicial Circuit.