Valentino indicted (updated)

Commissioner Gene Valentino has been indicted by the Escambia County Grand Jury for the solicitation of any political contribution in a building owned by a government agency. It is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail and $1,000 fine.

It involves an allegation that Valentino solicited campaign contributions from Dan Gilmore on November 5, 2009.

The Florida Constitution enables Charlie Crist, as governor, to suspend any elected public official indicted for a crime and remove public officials from office who are convicted. The governor also can suspend state or county officials — anyone from people appointed to state or local boards or even public notaries — for misconduct. Crist suspended 37 officials since he took office.