Lantana, Florida resident Catherine Padilla has accused Mayor David Stewart of attempting to coerce her into sex by saying it would ensure his vote for new speed bumps in a city council election. Padilla has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission of Ethics, which describes the ordeal.
Padilla and Stewart had been social five years prior, according to My Palm Beach Post. Three years ago, the two had lunch before Padilla declined to "occupy" a motel room together, with Padilla later declining a sexual encounter between the two.
Padilla had been working on a campaign to install local speed bumps on roads in the area at the time.
"He pulled into this motel and got out of his van and I just kept motioning no I'm not interested," she recalled.
A week later, shortly before a city council meeting about speed bumps, Stewart said Padilla could help ensure his vote in favor of the safety structure if the two had sex. Padilla declined again.
"Said it's not too late, you can still have sex with me, and I will guarantee that you get your speed humps that you want," said Padilla.
An agreement was ultimately made to install the speed bumps in August of 2015.
Stewart was notified about the complaint and attempted to discuss it with Padilla at her home. Padilla would not let Stewart inside. Police described the situation as a “suspicious incident.”
“These accusations are totally and completely false,” Stewart said, denying that he had ever offered sex in exchange for political favors. “I won’t dignify them by commenting. I continue to focus on doing my best for the residents of our town and community.”
“I’m finally strong enough. My feet are on the ground now,” Catherine Padilla said of the complaint, which has been filed years after the alleged incident. “I’m finally feeling strong enough to come forward with this.”
The ethics committee is currently investigating the situation and will make its findings public. They did not give an estimate as to when the inquiry would be completed. Stewart has been the mayor of Lantana since 2000.
[Photo: Lantana City Council]