The mayor of Homestead, FL was arrested on Wednesday on corruption charges. Mayor Steve Bateman, 58, is the third Florida mayor to be arrested within the past month.
Bateman reportedly received $125 an hour to work as a consultant for a healthcare company. The company was seeking city and council approval for a sewer connection that would have enabled it to build a clinic in Homestead, according to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Rundle.
The mayor lobbied his city officials and County Mayor Carlos Gimenez “without disclosing his financial arrangement with Community Health Care of South Florida Inc.” Bloomberg reports.
Earlier this month, Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Maroño were arrested in an FBI sting operation. The two men, along with two lobbyists, were charged with conspiring to commit extortion.
Pizzi and Maroño accepted thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for “championing purported federal grant applications for their towns,” according to the Miami Herald. “In reality, the men were in cahoots, intending to line their pockets with the grant money – not to bring dollars into municipal coffers,” according to the FBI.
“Our democracy suffers when… elected officials use their power and political influence for personal gain instead of for public good,” US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said at a press conference this month.