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Lantana Mayor Dave Stewart accused of asking for sex in exchange for political favors

Posted at 7:57 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-13 07:12:11-05

A local mayor is facing sexual harassment allegations. A formal complaint was filed against Lantana Mayor Dave Stewart. 

Catherine Padilla filed the complaint with the Florida State Commission on Ethics. In it, she writes Stewart asked her for sex in exchange for political favors.

Padilla says in 2015 she developed a friendship with Mayor Stewart. She told WPTV she's a member of the Kiwanis club. She says Mayor Stewart would frequent their meetings. Padilla says one day they went to lunch and their friendship took a turn.

"He pulled into this motel and got out of his van and I just kept motioning no I'm not interested," she recalled.

Padilla mentions that encounter in her letter to the Commission of Ethics. She says the next time she heard from the mayor was about a week later when he found out she was petitioning for speed bumps in her neighborhood.

"Said it's not too late, you can still have sex with me and I will guarantee that you get your speed humps that you want," she said.

WPTV called Mayor Stewart Monday to ask about the allegations against him.

"In 18 years I've been mayor there is never been a quid pro quo or anything asked for or given in favor of me voting in a special or certain direction," he said. 

A week after Padilla filed the formal complaint against Mayor Stewart, he showed up at her door.

"Looking really angry and red faced, so I immediately slammed the door and locked it and shut my blinds," she said. 

In this police report Mayor Stewart admits going to Padilla's home, but he says he did not talk to her and that he got back in his car and left.

WPTV asked him why he showed up to Padilla's home.

"I don't feel at this time I should comment on it until the ethics have been looked into," he said.

Mayor Stewart told WPTV he will not discuss the investigation – because he is spending time focusing on the residents of Lantana.

The state is investigating. There is no word on how long that will take.