Rick Scott

Gov. Scott Suspends Mayor of Hallandale Beach

What to Know

  • Mayor Joy Cooper was arrested Thursday on several felony charges, including money laundering.
  • Gov. Scott issued the executive order Friday to suspend Cooper.
  • Cooper's attorney disputes all allegations, claiming she's innocent.

Governor Rick Scott issued an executive order Friday to suspend Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper, effective immediately. 

Cooper was arrested Thursday on several felony charges, including money laundering and official misconduct, officials said.

Cooper was also charged with campaign financing/exceeding limits on contributions and campaign financing/soliciting contributions in a government building, according to the Broward State Attorney's Office.

Cooper said she will "vigorously fight these allegations" in a statement released Thursday.

"I love being a public servant and have always been committed to the betterment of our community," her statement read. "I have dedicated my time and energy to focus on performing all of my duties with utmost integrity."

On Thursday, it was announced that Vice Mayor Keith London would replace Cooper if Gov. Scott suspended Cooper from office. 

"We have a process in place which allows our vice mayor to step in to the mayor role and we will be able to then proceed with city business and to conduct whatever needs to happen for the city to continue in the manner of which it's continuing," Commissioner Michele Lazarow said.

The charges against Cooper stem from an undercover FBI investigation, officials said. The details of the investigation were unknown.

Cooper's attorney disputes the allegations, saying Cooper never accepted any campaign contributions. 

"She never accepted a campaign contribution for any quid pro quo, for any developer or any one in her 20 years of public life," Attorney Larry Davis told reporters Thursday. "We’re looking forward to our day in court and we’re looking forward to complete vindication of Mayor Cooper."

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is made available. 

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