Florida mayor removed from office after felony arrest

Author: AP

A Florida mayor has been removed from office following her arrest on three felony charges.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Friday suspending Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper from office while she faces the charges.

The Broward State Attorney’s Office says Cooper, who surrendered Thursday, has been charged with money laundering, official misconduct and exceeding campaign contribution limits following an undercover FBI investigation. Prosecutors say Cooper, a Democrat, also is charged with the misdemeanor soliciting contributions in a government building.

Her attorney, Larry Davis, says she plans to plead not guilty.

The felonies carry maximum prison sentences of five years. The misdemeanor has a maximum one-year prison term.

Cooper has been Hallandale Beach mayor since 2005 and previously served on the city commission beginning in 1999.

Hallandale Beach is south of Fort Lauderdale.

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