Sex for speed bumps: Shocking allegations emerge against Lantana mayor
LANTANA, Fla. (CBS12) —
Some serious allegations are being weighed against a local mayor.
The State Ethics Commission ruled that Lantana Mayor David Stewart "misused his position to attempt to obtain a sexual benefit for himself."
Catherine Padilla, the woman who filed the complaint against Stewart, says she’s relieved the ethics commission investigated her claim.
Padilla says no elected official should behave the way he did.
“He should be ashamed,” she said.
Padilla claims what Stewart did was downright wrong.
“What he said was that if I would have sex with him he would make sure that my street got the speed bumps,” Padilla said.
The commission also found probable cause that he solicited sex from a constituent based on an understanding his vote, official action or judgement would be influenced.
“They made the right decision,” Padilla said.
According to Padilla, the incidents happened about four years ago, but until now she'd been afraid to do anything about it. She says she was trying to get speed bumps installed in her neighborhood.
Steward offered to help, Padilla said, if she would have sex with him.
She says he even drove her to a motel, but she told him no.
“I just couldn’t believe it because I thought that he had been respectful all along and then all of a sudden, everything took a turn,” Padilla said.
Back in February, CBS12 reporter Mike Magnoli tried to get a comment from Stewart at Lantana City Hall about Padilla’s allegations.
“Well I can grab you just for a few moments here,” Magnoli said.
“No you can’t, you can sit out here,” Stewart said as he went into a meeting.
CBS12 News also tried to reach Stewart now about the ethics commission findings and went to his house, but were told to leave the property.
The State Ethics Commission could recommend removal from office and fines up to $10,000 per violation.
Stewart can now ask for an administrative hearing or he can negotiate a settlement. He is not facing any criminal charges in connection with this situation.
CBS12 News tried to reach other city council members; one said he had no comment.
Padilla hopes other women won’t hesitate to come forward and file a complaint if they have had a similar experience with Stewart.
Read the full investigation report below: