Tallahassee Lawmaker Included In Residency Probe

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By Andy Alcock
July 23, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A top state lawmaker's call for an investigation into elected officials who appear to live outside the districts they represent now includes a Tallahassee lawmaker.

Senator Jack Latvala told us he's forwarding information he obtained about State Representative Alan Williams to House Speaker Will Weatherford.

We started looking at this issue last week.

It's a tale of two homes.

Records show State Representative Alan Williams owns one home on Stony Creek Way in Tallahassee's Buck Lake area, a home he admits is not in his 8th house district.

Records also show Williams is part owner with two relatives of another home on Olive Avenue in his district.

Reporter: "Can you tell me where you live, which one of those places. I mean it's a simple question, where do you sleep at night?"

Williams: "Well I'll tell you, it's hard to sleep when you're fighting for district 8."

Reporter: "Should someone who represents a district actually live in that district in your opinion?"

Williams: "Well I believe, that again, as we look at the intent of whether members are duly qualified, you have to look at are they invested in the community."

The state constitution requires lawmakers to reside in areas they represent.

But Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho says there's another problem.

"Unfortunately, the Florida legislature has decided not to define residency," said Sancho.

Records also show Williams is getting a $50,000 property homestead tax exemption given for a primary residence for his Buck Lake home not in his district.

Reporter: "It says this is your primary residence, is that not accurate?"

Williams: "Well again Andy, I've met the intent of the house rule to make sure that one is duly qualified to be seated in the house of representatives."

Williams says that the house rule is you need to be a registered voter in your district.

County documents show he is.

"I understand there's a political back and forth with Senator Jack Latvala," said Williams.

"I have a home in district 8 and I have a home that's here in Tallahassee," he said.

Reporter: "But you live in one of those right?"

Williams: "I live in both."

Reporter: "You live in both, so you split time between the two?"

Williams: "I live in both I spent time in both homes."

Williams told us he'll wait to hear from Speaker Weatherford about the issue.

He also tells us his Buck Lake home was included in his district until the map was re-drawn.

Williams ran unopposed for re-election last year after the re-drawn map removed his Buck Lake home from his district.

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