Pembroke Park commissioner files suit claiming mayor violated Florida law for not resigning amid campaign

(WSVN) - A South Florida mayor is accused of breaking election law. Now, one town official is taking action, saying she should leave office immediately. 7’s Kevin Ozebek investigates.

Pembroke Park Commissioner Geoffrey Jacobs says Mayor Ashira Mohammed needs to resign right now.

Geoffrey Jacobs: “She’s still continuing to make decisions that affect the town, and she has no legal right to be doing that at this point.”

He has filed this lawsuit saying Mayor Mohammed “… is violating Florida law every day that she refuses to leave office. She must be removed.”

Commissioner Jacobs is working with attorney Michael Pizzi.

Michael Pizzi: “It’s never good to have a mayor in office when it’s illegal, when they have no right to be there.”

The lawsuit alleges Mayor Mohammed violated the resign-to-run law by not stepping down as mayor back in May, as she was also running for state representative.

And it is not just Commissioner Jacobs who thinks Mayor Mohammed violated the law. Last week, the Broward Office of Inspector General released a report concluding Mayor Mohammed engaged in what it calls elections misconduct.

Mayor Mohammed’s attorney says she has already vowed to resign, after the November election.

Joseph Geller, attorney: “This is ridiculous. There’s about a month to go before the resignation, and the court has no authority to remove someone from office for this statute.”

Besides not resigning, the inspector general also took issue with Mayor Mohammed posting her campaign logo on the town’s Facebook page and says she used town resources for her law firm.

Earlier this week, the 7 Investigates team obtained surveillance video that raises more questions.

It shows Mayor Mohammed, at the time she was under investigation by the inspector general, inside town hall on the night of Memorial Day.

She was with a now former town employee who appeared to grab a hammer to try and open an office door.

They ended up entering the office with keys.

Later in the night, she leaves with a second town employee, and a box and stack of documents.

Mayor Mohammed’s attorney says she was just making copies of resumes for the inspector general for an unrelated matter.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office tells 7News there is an active and ongoing investigation.

As for this new lawsuit asking a judge for Mayor Mohammed’s immediate removal, a town spokesperson tells us, “…the town has just become aware of this legal filing. Typically, we do not comment on pending legal matters.”


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