Arrested...Convicted...Elected?

Raul Martinez is facing ten years in prison for public corruption. Hialeah voters want him to be their mayor anyway. What a town!

But when someone does say, "Mayor, you were convicted of these charges. Did you do it? Are you guilty?" What do you say in response?

First of all, I did not do it. Second of all, if I was not convinced that I could win this on appeal, because of all the irregularities, things that happened during the case, during the investigation, during the deliberations of the jury, I would not be offering myself to be mayor again. If I felt for one minute that I did any of the things I was accused of, I would not be running. I would be fading away as far as possible, and maybe they'll forget about me, that will be the end of my life, my public life, and I will live happily ever after. But I didn't do it.

During the campaign, does that question come up often, where you have to give that answer?

Basically the question that people have had is whether or not I can take office. They've been harping on the fact that I can't run, and I have proved them wrong. Second, they said, "If I get elected, could I be sworn in?" And I keep saying, "Yes, yes I can, that's the law." And the third is, "If you do get elected and you get sworn in, is the governor going to suspend you again?" I say to that, "I don't know what the governor is going to do." But I feel very strongly that if I get elected, the governor, being the democratic person he is, is not going to go against the will of the people.

Can you take office again?
If you look at the law, I don't think the governor can suspend me. If you read the law, the law says the governor can only suspend a public official for a mischief committed during the term. If I get elected November 2, or November 9 if there's a runoff, and I get sworn in November 12, what mischief have I committed that the governor can suspend me on? I haven't done anything. Because whatever mischief from one term doesn't carry over to the next. That's the law.

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