The Florida Supreme Court today approved Gov. Charlie Crist's request for a grand jury to investigate and deal with corruption in local politics, two days after his initial request was rejected.
"The Statewide Grand Jury will add to the great work already being done by Florida's 20 State Attorneys to target criminal activity among elected officials. I am confident the Statewide Grand Jury will help give these fine public servants the tools they need to rid our state of corruption and restore the public trust," Crist said in a statement.
"We must remain committed to creating an environment where any crime committed by a public official is exposed and addressed as quickly as possible. Once established, I encourage the Statewide Grand Jury to swiftly make recommendations so that limitations in current law can be addressed during next year's legislative session."
Broward County Judge Victor Tobin will preside over the grand jury.
Crist originally made the request in October after three politicians in Broward were indicted on corruption charges. Crist noted that since taking office, he had removed 33 officials throughout the state. The recent scandals in Miami-Dade further illustrated the need for a grand jury. City of Miami Commissioner Angel Gonzalez resigned shortly after Election Day for procuring a no-show job for his daughter. Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones was removed from office after turning herself in on grand theft charges, and West Miami Mayor Cesar Carasa was suspended earlier this week for making tens of thousands of dollars in long-distance phone calls on the city's dime.