The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether Commissioner Vanessa Baugh broke state law by putting herself on a VIP vaccine list and quietly picking her district to solely receive vaccines.
After a week of scandal, Manatee County commissioners voted Tuesday to keep Baugh as chairperson.
Protesters gathered in downtown Bradenton, chanting for Baugh’s resignation.
“This is dirty politics,” says commissioner Carol Whitmore.
Manatee County received national attention after Gov. Ron DeSantis allocated 3,000 vaccines to two zip codes within Lakewood Ranch.
Baugh told Spectrum Bay News 9 that the governor wanted to find a large concentration of seniors, so she picked her district.
Baugh neglected to tell the county commission.
“I didn’t know about it until I read it in the paper,” says Whitmore.
“We are public servants…this is a right or wrong issue,” says Commissioner Reggie Bellamy.
The Bradenton Herald reported that Baugh put herself and several of her friends on a VIP list to receive the vaccine.
“I want to apologize to the residents for the actions that I’ve taken,” Baugh said.
Commissioner Bellamy put in a motion for Baugh to resign, but it did not pass.