Steven Bateman speaks about conviction on corruption charges

Former Homestead mayor faces more than 15 years in prison

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – "We all meet different hurdles in life -- some greater than others, but you have to ask yourself why?" said former Homestead Mayor Steven Bateman in an exclusive interview with Local 10 News reporter John Turchin. "Why me? And after I gave 10 years of my life to this city?"

As his date with destiny approaches, Bateman is still searching for answers -- answers that some might say are best seen by looking in a mirror.

"I'm innocent, simple as that," said Bateman.

A jury didn't see it that way and recently convicted Bateman of breaking the law when he secretly accepted a job as a consultant for a health care company that needed government approval to build a clinic in Homestead.

The former mayor faces 15 years in prison for each of the two felony counts.

"The crime does not fit the time," said Bateman. "Who did I hurt?"

"Maybe the people you hurt are the people of Homestead that maybe felt like you weren't honest with them," said Turchin.

"I wish I could see it that way, but I just don't see it that way," said Bateman.

Bateman is a 49-year resident of Homestead and said, despite his predicament, he is proud of what the city has accomplished under his leadership.

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