Former Everglades City mayor Sammy Hamilton, 84, paid his $90,000 bail Monday evening, according to the Collier County Jail.
Hamilton was arrested Monday in connection with grand theft and official misconduct, Florida Department of Law Enforcement said.
Hamilton is facing charges of one count of grand theft and 16 counts of official misconduct, according to the FDLE.
Hamilton was allegedly the sole signature on the city’s checks for several years, however the city charter required dual signatures by the mayor and city clerk, the FDLE said. Hamilton resigned from the mayor’s office in September 2017.
An investigation began in September 2017 and two complaints were filed with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, according to the FDLE.
The investigation found Hamilton allegedly stole nearly $48,000 in taxpayer dollars to purchase boat parts, construction materials, and equipment and development fees, according to the FDLE. He’s accused of using his position to do so.
Hamilton is also accused of authorizing and issuing 16 fraudulent checks from Everglades City and misrepresenting in official business, the FDLE said.
Following the arrest at his home, Hamilton was taken to the Collier County Jail. He left the jail at 5:30 p.m.
Everglades City resident Justin Elwer said he was in shock.
“Honestly, it’s unbelievable,” Elwer said.
Others, like resident David Ray McCormick, were in disbelief of the allegations.
“Man, that blows my mind. Blows my mind, because that don’t even sound like Mr. Hamiliton’s vocabulary,” McCormick said.
Hamilton’s following court date is scheduled for Aug. 13, according to the Collier County Jail.
WINK News is awaiting comment from mayor Howie Grimm.