A new effort is underway to take the power away from the former Maitland vice mayor after he was among the clients of a local prostitution ring that led to one Orange County man's arrest and Rep. Mike Horner's dropout of the district race.
Phil Bonus was stripped of his title on Monday night at the city council meeting, but the public is calling for a recall to reclaim Bonus' council seat. Bonus didn't attend the meeting on Monday night.
Citizens must collect at least 1,000 signatures from people in favor of kicking Bonus off the city council and it must be certified by the supervisor of elections. Bonus would also have the opportunity to challenge the petition before it reached the ballot.
Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker told Local 6 he has gotten more than 40 calls and emails from citizens calling for Phil Bonus' resignation, even though Bonus hasn't been charged with a crime in the prostitution case.
"I hope that we can get this worked out very quickly and easily so there's a minimum amount of damage to the city, and also to the Bonus family," Schieferdecker said. "Hopefully we can start a healing process as soon as possible for all of us."
As the prostitution ring came to light, so did Bonus' driving under the influence arrest in Hillsborough County in December 2011. Bonus is accused of nearly hitting two Tampa police officers as they directed traffic on the expressway.
Bonus told Local 6 last week, before the dash camera video of his arrest was released, he had no intention of resigning.
Watch Local 6 for more on this story.