PBC Commissioner Jeff Koons resigns

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Palm Beach County Commissioner Jeff Koons has resigned from his elected post. 

Koons was booked into Palm Beach County Jail at 3:40 Tuesday morning after turning himself in. Shortly before 10 Tuesday morning, a judge released him on his own recognizance.

After he was released, his lawyer read a statement saying Koons would resign from the commission and all other boards he sits on. He will also plead guilty.

He is the fourth county commissioner in recent years to face charges related to corruption.

The State Attorney's office has filed criminal charges against him for extortion, perjury and holding illegal private meetings.

State Attorney Michael McAuliffe released this statement:

"Earlier today [Tuesday], this Office filed formal charges alleging serious violations of the public trust against a sitting county commissioner. The charges focus firmly on the defendant's conduct - both in words and deeds - and include his extortionate threats to silence opposition to a project he supported, his attempts to punish opponents of the project when they did not submit to his extortion, and his attempts to mislead the authorities when asked to account for his actions. The allegations as outlined in the probable cause affidavit do not reflect impulsive or fleeting mistakes.  The alleged conduct reflects an arrogance borne of the perceived protections of power and influence.

"Simply, the merits of a public matter cannot be addressed when the voices for or against are muzzled or silenced through extortion and threats.  The community is not served by public servants who use the authority and power of an office to beat down members of the public who dare question the wisdom or appropriateness of a project or an expenditure of the public's funds.  Such actions are incompatible with public service.  

"The State and the defendant have reached a resolution of the criminal charges in this case.   The resolution will fully address the misconduct in the matter, but also will place the misconduct in the context of a larger, longer and more positive role the defendant has played in the community."

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