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South Florida lawmaker Daisy Baez resigns amid residency scandal

State representative 'confident' she has served public interest

Daisy Baez resigned from the Florida House of Representatives.
Daisy Baez resigned from the Florida House of Representatives.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A South Florida lawmaker has resigned after the Miami Herald revealed earlier this year that she doesn't live in the district she represents.

State Rep. Daisy Baez, D-Coral Gables, resigned Wednesday in a one-sentence letter to House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes. Baez announced her resignation in an email to constituents Thursday.

"I have been honored to serve the residents of Florida, Miami-Dade County and District 114," she said in her statement. "Thank you for giving me that opportunity."

Baez didn't address why she was resigning, but the Herald reported in May that her home was located in House District 112 and not District 114. The Florida Constitution requires lawmakers to live and vote in the districts they represent.

The freshman representative was elected to the Florida House last November. The Herald reported that Baez falsified a voter-registration form when she changed her address to a home for which she never paid or lived just days before last year's election.

"When I began my service as a representative last year, I vowed to serve the public interest to the best of my abilities," she said. "I am confident that I have done so. As I return to my life as a private citizen, I pledge to continue fighting for universal healthcare, empowering our teachers, and improving the equality of life for the youngest and the most vulnerable Floridians."

Baez also said that she's been out of touch with her supporters since the death of her mother last week.

"I take this opportunity to ask that you give me time to finalize the funeral arrangements and eventual burial in her beloved birthplace of Salcedo in the Dominican Republic," Baez said.

Baez will reportedly plead guilty to perjury under a plea agreement with prosecutors that will keep her from serving any time. She will also have to pay a $1,000 fine, take an ethics course and serve a year of probation.