New Eatonville council member sworn in after election overturned due to ‘illegal’ votes

Marlin Daniels was sworn in on Tuesday

EATONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly 21 months after Marlin Daniels was informed he had lost the March 2020 election for an Eatonville town council seat by a single vote, Daniels has been sworn in to office for that very same position.

An Orange County circuit judge overturned the results of that election in October and declared Daniels the winner after concluding two of the votes for Daniels’s political opponent were illegally cast.

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Daniels took the oath of office Tuesday surrounded by family, friends and supporters during a brief ceremony at Eatonville Town Hall.

“A delay is not a denial,” Daniels said. “I hope it sends the message that the time is now for a new season, a new regime, to move forward (and) to make Eatonville a much better place. And it’s time out for all the foolishness.”

Although Orange County judge Kevin Weiss issued a final judgment on Oct. 26 stating Daniels was entitled to the town council seat, Daniels claims he was blocked from taking office for more than a month as some Eatonville officials reportedly awaited further instruction from the judge.

In response, Judge Weiss issued a new order Monday stating, “Absent a stay granted by this Court or by an appellate court, the Court expects that the Final Judgment should be complied with and that it should have been followed from the day it was issued.”

Tarus Mack, Daniels’s opponent who was originally declared the winner of the town council seat, has appealed the judge’s ruling that forced his removal from office.

About the Author:

Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Mike DeForest has been covering Central Florida news for more than two decades.