When Armando Ramirez gets sworn in next Tuesday as Osceola County Clerk of Court his predecessor, Malcom Thompson, will be standing trial less than 100 yards away on state ethics charges.
Ramirez, 78, and his supporters will gather at 1 p.m. in the county's Historic Courthouse to celebrate his upset election victory as the county's first elected Hispanic to run an independent constitutional office.
By then, Thompson, 63, will be entering the fourth hour of a scheduled two-day trial in the adjacent county administration building on Courthouse Square. He was accused last summer by the state Ethics Commission of using his elected post to intimidate his employees "in order to enhance his personal and political power."
Last spring, Thompson was acquitted in back-to-back criminals trials of assault and battery charges against some of those employees.
Controversy surrounding Thompson's single term led to his loss to Ramirez in the Democratic primary. Ramirez defeated Republican candidate Rayelynne Ketchum in the general election.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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