Cape Coral will appoint an interim council member to replace Patty Cummings

Reporter: Claire Galt, Justin Kase Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Cape Coral City Council members will appoint an interim representative to fill the seat left open by the suspension of Patty Cummings.

They held a special meeting Friday afternoon after Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Cummings from representing District 4 the day before.

The city will open an application process to find that person because, the council said, they don’t have the time and money to hold a special election.

A special election would cost over $300,000; and they only have 30 days to fill Cummings’ now vacant seat.

Cummings was arrested earlier this week, accused of lying about where she lives during her election.

WINK News briefly talked to Cummings in her neighborhood.

She said her people are confused because of what she said the media is putting out there. When asked if she would share her side of the story, she said, “It’s coming, just wait.”

City Councilman Tom Hayden said he got the message loud and clear. That’s why he’s glad the governor did what he did: suspend Cummings from office.

Now she faces felony charges for lying about where she lived when she won her seat on the council.

“We’re glad the governor acted quickly and decisively and got this done in quick time so that we can move forward with the next process,” Hayden said.

Hayden said he would like the council to appoint someone for a year and then put Cummings’ seat on the ballot in 2024, with the winner serving two years instead of the usual four.

The governor’s executive order did create some confusion. Desantis “suspended” Patty Cummings and did not “remove” her permanently.

If Cummings goes through the legal proceedings and is found not guilty, she could return to the council and get collected back pay.

The council will be hearing interviews from applicants for fill the position left vacant by Cummings

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