Jose Rodriguez guilty plea: Former Boynton Beach mayor pleads guilty to criminal charges
Sentenced to house arrest, 5 years probation
11:21 AM, Apr 26, 2013
4:02 PM, Apr 26, 2013
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. -- After working out a deal with the state, former Boynton Beach Mayor Jose Rodriguez has pleaded guilty to criminal charges.
During a hearing at the Palm Beach County Courthouse Friday, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to corrupt misuse of an official position and false statement to a financial institution.
He will receive 60 days of house arrest and 5 years probation. Prosecutors say Rodriguez used his position to pressure Boynton Beach authorities to stop looking into an alleged child abuse case of his step daughter.
Prosecutors also said Rodriguez gave false information to the bank while doing a short sale of his condo.
Rodriguez's attorney Jason Weiss said Rodriguez is not happy about how things transpired and that whatever he may have said to those officials about the investigation was taken out of context.
As for the short sale, Rodriguez said he made a mistake and is owning up to it.
Prosecutors say they're pleased and this is the first case ever in Palm Beach County where they got a criminal conviction on an ethics charge. Rodriguez will have to pay more than $100,000 of restitution to the bank.
He has until May 10 to start his 60-day sentence.
After his court appearance, Rodriguez issued a statement to apologize.
"I made some bad personal financial decisions in the down turn of the economy that I take full responsibility for," Rodriguez said. "I also want to thank the many people who believe in me and continue to stand by my side."
Rodriguez also added that he did not do some of the things he is accused of.
"One of the most difficult things I have ever had to do is to admit to something God knows I did not do, but our system breaks you down physically, financially and emotionally, leaving you little or no choices," he said. "I had to admit to doing something I did not do in exchange for not suffering unacceptable consequences for what I did do."