At a mayoral candidates debate Monday night, suspended Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman told NBC 6 he is not giving up his re-election bid, despite being accused of corruption by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office last month.
State prosecutors claim Bateman illegally lobbied for Community Health of South Florida, and eventually earned a six-figure income for his services. Bateman said his ties to the clinic chain were not a secret.
"I had disclosed it to our city attorney before I ever signed on the dotted line,” Bateman said. “He blessed it, and they don't even know that. They'll find it out."
Bateman was arrested last month, and said he's awaiting the chance to clear his name.
"I've never had the chance to stand before my peers, to stand before the state attorney, and ask 'what is the charge? Where do you come up with this?'" he said.
While working for Community Health, Bateman is accused of pushing for the construction of a water pump, which the State Attorney's Office maintains would have cleared the way for Community Health of South Florida to build a clinic in Homestead, and demonstrates a misuse of his position as mayor.
Bateman faces two counts of unlawful compensation and one each of unregistered lobbying, exploitation of his position and acquiring financial interests related to the secret consulting job, authorities said.
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