DeSantis suspends Orlando city commissioner accused of stealing thousands of dollars from 96-year-old woman

Regina Hill was arrested and charged last week for allegedly paying for surgeries, hotels and other personal expenses with an elderly woman's money.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially suspended the Orlando city commissioner who was accused last week of stealing thousands of dollars from a 96-year-old woman.

Through an executive order, DeSantis suspended Regina Hill, who has been arrested and charged for allegedly paying for surgeries, hotels and other personal expenses with an elderly woman’s money.

“Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 24-63, suspending City Commissioner for the City of Orlando, Regina Hill, in accordance with the Florida Constitution and sections 112.51(1) and 112.51(2), Florida Statutes”, said the governor’s office in a news release.

Under Florida’s constitution, the state’s governor has the right to temporarily suspend an official accused of a crime.

“[B]y order of the governor, any elected municipal officer indicted for crime may be suspended from office until acquitted and the office filled by appointment for the period of suspension, not to extend beyond the term, unless these powers are vested elsewhere by law or the municipal charter,” the state constitution reads.

The case of Regina Hill, formally accused of fraud and exploitation of elderly people, applies to this section of the law.

According to the indictment, Regina Hill met a 96-year-old woman in March 2021. Just a month later, she began to influence her decisions and to exploit her financially for about three years.

The commissioner, in total, faces seven felony charges for her alleged crimes.

The indictment is divided into three counts of exploitation of the elderly, two counts of fraudulent use of personal identification, one count of mortgage fraud and one count of conspiracy to defraud more than $50,000.

“As I navigate through these challenging times, I want to assure the residents of District 5 that our team’s commitment to your needs and well-being stands firm. The office remains operational and fully equipped to provide the support you need,” Hill said Monday, before being suspended by DeSantis.

“My confidence in the integrity of the legal process and faith in God is unwavering, and I’m deeply moved by the support from our community,” the commissioner continued. “This support is a constant reminder of the strength and resilience that defines District 5, and it fuels my continued dedication to serving and uplifting every community member through these trying times. I will wait for my day in court when I’ll be able to prove my innocence and that I always acted in good faith.”