Orlando Official Caught Using Elderly Funds for Personal Gain

(ReliableNews.org) – Public officials should follow the law and set a good example for their constituents. One in Orlando, Florida, however, is facing allegations of theft. The governor has now suspended her.

In March, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) detailed allegations against Orange County Commissioner Regina Hill, accusing her of exploiting an elderly person. According to reports, the 58-year-old began financially exploiting a 96-year-old woman in March 2021.

The FDLE claimed Hill first encountered the victim while she was a city commissioner and found out the woman was living in horrible conditions. A month later, she allegedly obtained power of attorney over the woman, even though she had no relationship with her at all. Hill went on to coordinate the clean-up of the victim’s residence.

The law enforcement agency also alleged Hill took out a second power of attorney and used it to purchase a home for more than $400,000. She made the elderly woman a co-signer without receiving her consent. Hill then allegedly moved into that home and spent more than $15,000 of the woman’s money to pay for renovations.

The FDLE accused the commissioner of accessing the woman’s savings, personal checking, and credit card accounts. Hill then allegedly spent approximately $100,000 on clothes, a facelift, hotel rooms, dental surgery, and other items. Officers arrested Hill and charged her with multiple felonies, including mortgage fraud, scheming to defraud over $50,000, exploitation of the elderly, and other charges.

On April 1, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) issued an executive order suspending Hill. Under the Florida Constitution, the governor has the power to suspend an indicted municipal official. A special election will now be held to fill the seat.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Hill released a statement declaring her innocence. She said she was going to wait for her day in court to prove it and that the support from her district “fuels [her] continued dedication to serving and uplifting” the community.

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