Governor to interview three for Commission 3 post

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Three applicants for suspended Levy County Commissioner W.S. “Sammy” Yearty’s seat will be interviewed this week by Gov. Charlie Crist’s appointments office.

The governor’s press office confirmed that Yankeetown Vice Mayor Marsha Drew, owner of Nature Coast Weddings; Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Joiner and Yankeetown Council Candidate Jim Petrovich, owner of Yankeetown Boatyard, Inc..

Sterling Ivey, spokesman for Crist, said a decision on the Yearty seat would be made in the next two weeks. Applicants for Robert Anthony “Tony” Parker’s seat and an opening on the Levy County School Board will soon be interviewed.

Yearty, the District 3 commissioner, and Parker, District 1 commissioner, were suspended from office after being indicted by a federal grand jury on influence peddling charges in Oct. 20.

The indictments were unsealed Nov. 5 charging both with conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery. In addition, Yearty and former Enterprise Zone Development Executive Director Pam Blair were indicted on charges of making false statements to the FBI.

Their trials, originally set for December, were delayed to February, and again delayed until May 4.

In the meantime the commission has been operating with a bare quorum of three: Chair Nancy Bell, and Commissioners Lilly Rooks and Danny Stevens.

The opening on the school board occurred when Billy Morrison resigned after being charged with indecent exposure in Gainesville.