MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sweetwater Commissioner Sophia Lacayo has been charged with one count of perjury, officials announced Tuesday.
Officials say Lacayo, who was elected in May 2019, did not actually reside within the city limits, a requirement of the City Charter in order to run for office.
The office of the Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said that Lacayo was not truthful when she filled out her affidavit of residency.
“Deliberately swearing to false information in order to run for a City Commission seat, as occurred here, deceived those voters who believed in the candidate,” said Fernandez Rundle. “Such a deliberate action can never have a good result for a city.”
Lacayo pleaded guilty to the charge of perjury and was sentenced to one-year probation through the advocate program.
Officials said that as a part of her plea, Lacayo resigned from the City of Sweetwater Commission and is prohibited from running for public office during the term of her probation.
Additionally, authorities say, she will take an ethics course with the Miami Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust and pay various investigative cost recovery fees.
Lacayo released a statement on Tuesday, which in read in part:
“It is with a heavy heart I resigned my position as Commissioner for the City of Sweetwater. I am humbled by the support from the Sweetwater community and look forward to continue serving them albeit in an unofficial capacity.”
“While I was not arrested, or found guilty of a crime, this morning my attorney entered my guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of perjury in an unofficial proceeding, for which adjudication was withheld. I will be on one year of probation which requires me to report to the Advocate Program one time per month but I am otherwise free to conduct myself as any private citizen. The charge stemmed from an action unrelated to my official duties and responsibilities as an elected official of Sweetwater. The decision to enter a plea was made in the best interest of my family and the residents of the City of Sweetwater who would not benefit from any protracted litigation that would detract from the real issues plaguing the hard working people of our community.”