Tag Archives: clemency

Broward School Board Candidate Rod Velez Interviewed By FDLE Agents, December Clemency Board Meeting Cancelled

screenshot of Rod Velez at today’s School Board meeting, courtesy Chris Nelson.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents interviewed School Board candidate Rod Velez regarding questions of his eligibility to hold public office, a source tells REDBROWARD. According to the longtime source, Velez discussed an oath he signed months ago affirming he could hold public office. Velez, a convicted felon, admits he never sought restoration of his civil rights before running for office.

According to the source, Velez claimed he relied upon the advice of his campaign manager Barabra Miller. Velez was allegedly told taking the oath of office to join the Broward School Board on Tuesday would constitute perjury, a third degree felony.

Velez was not sworn into office at today’s ceremony.

Velez did attend the board meeting later in the day. REDBROWARD reached Velez at the meeting.

When asked about the FDLE interview, Velez said, “Let me check with my attorney.” As of press time, neither Velez nor his attorney contacted REDBROWARD.

The path for Velez to take a seat on the Broward School Board continues to narrow. Earlier today, Velez told WLRN, “The state has everything they need to hit the reset button and process everything.”

While Velez may have finally submitted his application to the state, it will not be heard until next year. REDBROWARD learned the December 14, 2022 clemency board meeting was cancelled yesterday. The December Cabinet meeting was cancelled as well.

The next clemency board meeting is set for January 2023.

According to a rights restoration expert, Velez may be out of luck even if he gets a hearing and his rights restored. The expert said the restoration is effective on the day it is granted. It is not retroactive.

We will update the story if Velez provides comment.

Rod Velez Skips Broward School Board Swearing In Ceremony, Admits He Cannot Hold Office But Blames Governor Ron DeSantis?!?

Rod Velez

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?