Charges recommended against former Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 2:34 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:18 PM EST
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has recommended that charges be filed against former Manatee County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes. Complaints against Hopes alleged criminal violations of Florida’s public records, theft and notary laws.

The investigation and relevant materials were forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for review on Nov. 15.

Dr. Hopes resigned in February of 2023. The separation agreement negotiated with Hopes says the end of his employment as a voluntary resignation and separation are without cause and that Hopes departs “in good standing in all relevant respects.”

The sheriff’s office confirmed that the complaint was in reference to the county-issued cellphone and tablet of former county administrator, Scott Hopes. The complaints in question allege violations of Florida’s public records, theft, and notary laws. Charges have been recommended.

The department has turned the results of the investigation over to the State Attorney’s Office.

Hopes received four moths of severance pay, and will be paid for all accrued sick and vacation pay. His health insurance will continue for another year.

Manatee County officials say they will not comment further on an active investigation but here are the statutes cited as being potentially violated in the press release.

119.10 - Violations of Public Records

117.105- False or fraudulent acknowledgments for Public Notaries This is a felony charge.

812.14 - Trespass and larceny with relation to utility fixtures; theft of utility services

817.569- Criminal use of a public record or public records information; providing false information.