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Broward's Smallest Village Runs Afoul of Florida Laws, Report Says

The tiny Broward County municipality of Lazy Lake failed to hold elections in 2016 and 2018.
The tiny Broward County municipality of Lazy Lake failed to hold elections in 2016 and 2018.
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Broward County's smallest village has been running amok.

Lazy Lake, a municipality of a whopping 26 residents surrounded by Wilton Manors, violated state law and its own charter by seating village officials without holding elections, according to Broward's Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

The OIG released a report Wednesday concluding Lazy Lake failed to hold elections in March 2016 and March 2018 and instead appointed or reappointed individuals to what should have been elected village seats.

"Our concern," Inspector General John W. Scott says, "was that these individuals and, indeed, every then-sitting member of the governing body had not qualified to run for office and did not run for office in the March 2018 election."

The absence of qualifying paperwork from candidates was among the tip-offs for investigators that the village was in violation of Florida's election statutes and the state constitution. Lazy Lake Mayor Evan Anthony admitted to the OIG that the village has no written procedures for elections.

The village charter stipulates that elections for mayor and five council seats will be held in March of every even year.

Lazy Lake was previously in hot water with the OIG for violating legal requirements for public notice of council meetings, responding to public-records requests, and other county ordinances and state laws, especially Florida's sunshine laws.

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