A Hallandale Beach city commissioner says his living arrangement with his girlfriend is only getting attention now that he's in a "heated campaign" for mayor.
A woman emailed the city attorney on Friday calling for an investigation because candidate Keith London lives with his longtime girlfriend, which she said violates a state law prohibiting unmarried couples from cohabitating.
“Nobody in six years of me being in office cared about what I do in my bedroom," London said Tuesday. "Only now that I’m in a heated campaign does anyone care about what I’m doing in my bedroom.”
The obscure state law, statute 798.02, says that it is a second-degree misdemeanor for an unmarried man and woman to “lewdly and lasciviously associate and cohabit together.”
London, a city commissioner since 2006, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he does indeed live with his girlfriend. He joked about the lewd and lascivious part, saying, “I should be that lucky.”
London told NBC 6 South Florida that residents and taxpayers don't really care about his living situation.
“It’s kind of ironic that the press is doing all this work, there’s so much to be discussed, and this is what’s drawing attention," he said.
He emphasized issues such as Hallandale Beach's budget and finances.
“I have a budget that’s out of control. I have reserves that are dwindling," London said. "The city will be bankrupt in two or three years if the city keeps going down this path.”
London is trying to unseat Mayor Joy Cooper in the Nov. 6 election. She has been mayor since 2003.
Cooper could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. But she told the Sun Sentinel that she wouldn’t make her opponent’s living arrangement a campaign issue, saying, “It’s a stupid law.”
The person who raised the issue told the Sun Sentinel in an email that she is a seasonal resident who is not eligible to vote locally. She wouldn’t give her address or phone number, but told the Sun Sentinel in an email that London is knowingly violating the law, even if it may be an archaic one.
Her email to City Attorney V. Lynn Whitfield was referred to the Broward State Attorney's Office.
"As of this afternoon, no complaint has been filed and we are not investigating this matter," State Attorney's Office spokesman Ron Ishoy said in an email statement.