Suspended Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman surrendered in court Thursday to seven counts of disposition of surplus funds by a candidate, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said. NBC 6’s Sharon Lawson reports.
Suspended Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman surrendered in court Friday to seven counts of disposition of surplus funds by a candidate, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said.
Bateman surrendered in open court at 8:45 a.m. and was booked. Then the judge immediately released him on his own recognizance. The case is related to the 2011 election, officials said.
The charges are misdemeanors and are separate and apart from charges he was previously arrested for, said State Attorney spokeswoman Terry Chavez.
Bateman's attorney Ben Kuehne said he is innocent and will show he's done nothing wrong.
In August, Bateman 58, was arrested on public corruption charges. The charges include two counts of unlawful compensation, unregistered lobbying, exploitation of his position and acquiring financial interests related to a secret consulting job with a Florida health clinic company, authorities said.
The investigation centers on Bateman's paid consultant job with Community Health of South Florida Inc., which began in February, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has said.
Bateman was elected Homestead's mayor in 2009 and won re-election in 2011. He served as the city's vice mayor and councilman and was the chairman of the city's planning and zoning board.
"We're in a position to vigorously fight this case," Kuehne said. "Mayor Bateman has said he's not guilty, he's said it legally, he's said it publicly, he's done nothing wrong."