Rod Velez will not be taking a seat on the Broward School Board and he’s blaming Governor Ron DeSantis. Velez, a convicted felon, did not have his right to hold public office restored by a State clemency board. In December 1994, Velez was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after witnesses said he pistol-whipped a man inside a Hollywood home. Police later found the gun inside Velez’ car. Velez would later plead guilty to a lesser felony charge.
In October, REDBROWARD reported an elections fraud complaint filed with the State Of Florida, candidate Marie Murray Martin alleges Rod Velez failed to get his civil rights restored or received special permission from a clemency board. The complaint was filed in August 2022.
Velez has repeatedly changed his story regarding his eligibility to hold office.
In June, Velez told the Sun-Sentinel that the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office (SOE) approved his candidacy. “That was one of my concerns. If I can’t serve, I’m not going to waste my time,” Velez said. “But because it’s an elected position, I’m allowed to.” A letter obtained by REDBROWARD from a Broward SOE attorney cast doubt on Velez’ claim.
Yesterday, REDBROWARD revealed the issue of Velez’ signed oath taken when he filed for office was forwarded to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
The Florida Department of State forwarded information on Velez to the FDLE last week. An attorney for the Department of State, Broward County officials and the FDLE were listed on an email entitled “Question about a Broward County candidate with a felony record.” A screenshot of the email was included in a court document filed by Velez opponent Marie Murray Martin.
On the November 14th email, the chief deputy counsel for the Department of State wrote, “Please see the below complaint alleging the false swearing of an oath, which is a third degree felony.” The attorney refers to campaign paperwork where a candidate swears they possess the legal right to hold office.
The attorney forwarded the email to someone with an FDLE address. Attorneys for Broward Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott were copied on the email.
According to published reports, Velez feared taking an oath at Tuesday’s swearing ceremony would exposed him to another perjury accusation.
Velez was not present on stage at the ceremony held at Fort Lauderdale High School.
Velez told The Sun-Sentinel, “I’m not going to break the law, I’ve been waiting for things to happen. I’m still waiting. I still have time. It’s not like today is the last day.”
Velez said he is not resigning.
Even though he relied upon the advice of campaign manager Barbara Miller, Velez went on to blame Governor Ron DeSantis for the entire mess. Velez claimed DeSantis’ comments on civil rights restoration influenced his decision.
“It’s on me. I believed because of what the governor said I was good to go,” he said. “That was my mistake. I’m working through it and going to fix it.”
Rod Velez finally admits he cannot hold public office and he wants to blame the Governor?