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Sheriff's Office investigates whether Manatee County commissioner broke Florida law

Vanessa Baugh put her name on list to receive vaccine
Manatee commisioner
Posted at 10:27 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 03:47:32-05

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Manatee County Sheriff's Office is investigating whether a local county commissioner broke state law for her role in a COVID-19 vaccine pop-up site.

Officials said Vanessa Baugh, a Manatee County Commission Chair, admitted to giving 3,000 vaccine appointments to people from two specific ZIP codes in the Lakewood Ranch area. It was then reported that Baugh sent a list of names to be included in the appointments, including her own.

RELATED: Manatee commissioner apologizes after criticism over role in vaccine distribution

A paralegal filed a complaint on Tuesday arguing that Baugh might have violated at least one of the three Florida statutes: Misuse of public position, official misconduct and misuse of confidential information.

At the County Commission meeting on Tuesday, commissioners voted 4-3 against the motion asking Baugh to step down. Protesters later gathered outside and were pushing for Baugh's resignation.

Last week, Baugh apologized and said she "felt terrible about it all."

She said she has not received the vaccine.