Fred Hawkins, who is currently serving his third term as an Osceola County Commissioner in District 5, has been suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis in connection with charges alleging that he impersonated a law enforcement officer.
Per the order set forth by Governor DeSantis, Commissioner Hawkins is prohibited from performing any official act, duty, or function of public office, from receiving any pay or allowance; and from being entitled any of the emoluments or privileges of public office during the period of this suspension until further executive order is issued, or as otherwise provided by law.
On Nov. 7, Hawkins was trying to enter an election of the Turnberry Reserve Homeowner’s Association when security guard Ailyn DePena attempted to keep him from entering the room where the election was taking place. It was then that Mr. Hawkins allegedly flashed sheriff’s office credentials, claiming he was with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
Hawkins holds the honorary title of special deputy with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, according to the FDLE, which does not come with the authority to arrest.
Commissioner Hawkins’ campaign spokesperson Christina Johnson provided Positively Osceola this statement upon our request:
“Make no mistake that Fred Hawkins most certainly remains a candidate for the Florida House. In fact, if he wasn’t a candidate running for political office, this charge would never have seen the light of day. We find it curious that while this incident happened last November, with many having online access to the HOA videotape, that it took eight months to file a charge. This continues to be nothing more than a political witch hunt and these charges will be vigorously defended.”
Mr. Hawkins shared that Governor DeSantis had no choice but to suspend him as a commissioner given the current charges against him, and that it is standard procedure and will change nothing with his campaign.