On June 8, Lake Wales City Attorney Chuck Galloway was instructed to initiate the process of suspending Lake Wales City Commissioner Kristen Fitzgerald from elected office.

Fitzgerald was booked into jail June 4 for allegedly kidnapping and threatening an 11- year boy with a loaded pistol. She paid $11,000 bail and was released June 5.

Galloway contacted the governor's lawyer to report the arrest and request that Fitzgerald be suspended from office.

Mayor Eugene Fultz asked for “an update on the process that we used for replacing or naming someone in succession of one of our commissioners when and if they are suspended due to improprieties.”

Galloway said, “It's now in the lap of the governor to make a decision.”

If the governor decides to suspend Fitzgerald, by city rules, her seat would need to be filled within 30 days. The person appointed as a replacement must live within the district. The person who is appointed would serve until the April 2022 municipal election. The winner of that election would serve out the balance of Fitzgerald's term.

Fitzgerald defeated first term city commissioner Al Goldstein by only 33 votes on April 6, 2021.

Recommended for you