By Mary Hladky and Jerry Lower
Any hopes that suspended Mayor Susan Haynie might have had of reclaiming her elected office ended Feb. 27 when both her defense lawyer and the prosecutor asked that her trial on public corruption charges be delayed.
In a four-minute hearing Circuit Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen canceled Haynie’s March 23 trial date and rescheduled it for July 20. He also told prosecutor Brian Fernandes and defense attorney Bruce Zimet to file any new evidence by June 1.
Fernandes contends that Haynie used her position on the City Council to vote on six matters that financially benefited Jim and Marta Batmasian, the city’s largest downtown commercial landowners, and failed to disclose income she received from them or their company, Investments Limited.
Haynie, 64, has pleaded not guilty to charges of official misconduct, perjury, misuse of public office and failure to disclose voting conflicts. She faces more than 20 years in prison.
Haynie, a fixture in Boca Raton politics for 18 years, has not publicly commented on the case since her April 24, 2018, arrest. Then-Gov. Rick Scott suspended her from office, but she never resigned.
If her trial had started March 23 and she were quickly acquitted, Haynie could potentially have reclaimed the mayor’s seat but only until her term of office ends on March 31.
Scott Singer was elected mayor four months after Haynie’s arrest and is seeking election to a full term on March 17 with only token opposition from Bernard Korn.