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Trial for suspended fire commissioner postponed again

September 29, 2017
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The trial for a suspended Lehigh Acres fire commissioner has been pushed back for a third time.

A felony case against Robert John Anderson, 51, of 1147 Cherokee Ave., was again continued this week, according to the State Attorney's Office. During trial call, it was rescheduled for Oct. 19.

"On that date, the judge will decide if the case will be heard during that trial cycle," Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office, said.

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Robert John Anderson

Anderson was charged in August 2016 for reportedly stealing riding lawn mowers from a Habitat for Humanity in North Fort Myers. The equipment had been donated to it by the Lehigh fire district.

He is facing one count of larceny grand theft $300 less than $5,000, records state.

In June 2017, Anderson was charged with larceny grand theft $300 less than $5,000 and fraud swindle obtain property under $20,000 in an unrelated incident. He is accused of fraudulently obtaining nearly $2,600 from a business that he provided technical support to and using the money to pay personal bills.

Anderson has pleaded not guilty to the charges in both cases.

A case management conference is set for Oct. 12 on the second case.

On July 26, Gov. Rick Scott suspended Anderson from his seat on the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District's board. Anderson had won his seat on the fire board while facing the 2016 charge.

Florida law states that an official who has been suspended may not perform any official act, duty or function, nor receive any pay or allowance, nor be entitled to any emoluments or privileges.

If the official is convicted of the charge, the governor will remove him or her from office and the person appointed to the temporary vacancy shall serve out the remainder of the term, according to the law. If an official pleads guilty or no contest, he or she will be considered convicted of the charge.

In the case that the official is acquitted, found not guilty or otherwise cleared of the charge, the governor will revoke the suspension and restore the official to his or her office, the law states.



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