TALLAHASSEE, FL — Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday ordered the immediate suspension of Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper. The action came one day after Cooper was charged with money laundering and three other offenses.
In his executive order suspending Cooper, Scott cited Florida law, which allows the governor to suspend any elected municipal officer who is arrested for a felony or for a misdemeanor related to the duties of office.
"Whereas, it is in the best interests of the residents of the city of Hallandale Beach, and the citizens of the state of Florida, that Joy Cooper be immediately suspended from the public office, which she now holds, upon the grounds set forth in this executive order," according to the document.
The embattled Broward County official has been at the center of a public controversy since she appeared to slur her words at a public meeting last year. She later claimed to be suffering from dehydration after becoming ill on a trip to Mexico, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Two city officials wrote to Scott asking that the mayor be removed from office following the incident, the paper reported.
A spokesman with the FBI in Miami told Patch early Thursday afternoon that the agency was not immediately commenting on reports that the arrest was based on an undercover agency investigation.
According to court documents, bail was set at $12,000 for the 57-year-old Miami who was first elected to the Hallandale Beach City Commission in 1999. She has served as commissioner, vice mayor and and was the first directly elected mayor of Hallandale Beach.
Born in Trenton, New Jersey, Cooper is married to Dr. Harry Cooper.
Booking photo of Mayor Joy Cooper courtesy Broward Sheriff’s Office