Temple Terrace Mayor Resigns
The State Ethics Commission found she had embellished her educational credentials for her biography on the city’s website. Vice Mayor Andy Ross will take over the mayor’s duties.
TEMPLE TERRACE – Mayor Mel Jurado announced Friday (March 20) that she is resigning as mayor effective May 7.
Vice Mayor Andy Ross will take over the mayor’s duties.
Jurado’s resignation comes after the Florida Commission on Ethics announced Jan. 29 that there was probable cause to believe Jurado had “misused her position to permit or direct city staff to publish inaccurate or embellished educational credentials for her biography on the city’s website.” If the commission later decides a violation happened, Jurado could face civil penalties that include removal from office and fines up to $10,000 per violation.
News of Jurado’s resignation came in an announcement from the city:
“In a memo addressed to City Council, City staff and residents of Temple Terrace dated March 17 and delivered to City Hall this afternoon [March 20], Mel Jurado announced her resignation from the office
of Mayor of the city of Temple Terrace, effective May 7, 2020.
“The memo stated:
“‘After strong consideration, I have decided to resign as mayor of the city of Temple Terrace, effective date May 7, 2020. After focusing on the future path I want my life to take, and reviewing my responsibilities as mayor, I have decided that continuing to serve as mayor is not conducive to the direction I’ve decided to go.
“‘After discussions with city staff, it has been decided that I will have a diminished role in representing the city as mayor through this transition. Due to prior guidance and collaborative efforts, I feel that my leaving will in no way impact the direction of the city.
“‘I thank all of those who have made the city’s work environment as productive as it has become. I treasure the time I have spent working with staff and council; and, the goals we did set and accomplish. To those citizens and friends that elected and supported me to serve as mayor of the city, I cannot think (sic) you enough for providing this opportunity. Together, much has been accomplished and I’m very proud to have been a part of it.'”
Ross was elected to the Temple Terrace City Council on Nov. 8, 2016. Ross retired as a captain from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and then served as deputy chief of police at Tampa International Airport. He is president of Innovative Training and Consulting, LLC, a local security consulting firm. He also is an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University.
Before his election to the city council, Ross served as chair on both the Temple Terrace Municipal Code Enforcement Board and River Watch Task Force. He represents the city on the Hillsborough River Interlocal Planning Board and is council liaison to the Municipal Code Enforcement Board and River Watch Task Force.
Ross has a master’s degree from Saint Leo University and is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course at the University of Louisville. He is a member of numerous professional community associations.
Ross and his wife have three children.
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