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The Villages
Sunday, January 16, 2022

Governor suspends Sumter County commissioners facing perjury charges

Gary Search 1
Gary Search
Oren Miller 1
Oren Miller

Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended two Sumter County commissioners facing perjury charges.

Commissioners Oren Miller and Gary Search learned through County Attorney Jennifer Rey of the suspension, effective Thursday, Jan. 6.

DeSantis proclaimed the suspensions are in the “best interests of Sumter County.” The suspensions mean that both men are prohibited from performing their duties as commissioners and are no longer being paid.

You can read the governor’s orders of suspensions at:

Executive Order 22-01 – Suspension of Oren Miller (00957539xA281E)

Executive Order 22-02 Suspension of Gary Search (00957540xA281E)

Miller and Search were both arrested Dec. 15 on felony charges of perjury. Both men have pleaded not guilty and both men remain free on bond.

Miller, a resident of the Village of Sanibel, and Search, a resident of the Village of Amelia, were both elected in 2020 after commissioners seen as puppets of the Developer of The Villages forced through a highly unpopular 25 tax increase on homeowners.

Miller, Search and Commissioner Craig Estep, attempted to make good on promise to shift the tax burden from homeowners to impact fees paid by developers. The Villages fought the move tooth-and-nail and eventually enlisted state Rep. Brett Hage to change the law. DeSantis signed off on the measure.

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