STUART — A jury voted Friday to acquit Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard of public records violations after just 30 minutes of deliberations.
Once the jury of two men and four women were dismissed, Heard hugged her husband, her attorneys and supporters who attended the week-long trial.
“It’s a great day,” she said. “I’m very thankful for my wonderful team, the Wagners did a splendid job, my experts did a splendid job and the jurors were spot on., I’m so grateful to everyone."
Heard was indicted by a grand jury last year on charges she violated the state’s public records law.
She has pleaded not guilty to two first degree misdemeanors: The failure of a public official to permit inspection and copying of public records and failure to maintain public records.
Both counts are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The case goes back several years to a lawsuit filed against the county by the Lake Point rock quarry where the company claimed Heard, and two other commissioners, destroyed or failed to produce relevant emails.