Click Orlando reports:
A former Florida state representative was sentenced to four months in federal prison Thursday after he pleaded guilty to fraudulently collecting about $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds intended to help small businesses.
Joseph Harding, who once represented Florida’s 22nd District – which includes parts of Marion County, resigned from the Florida House of Representatives in December after he was indicted by a federal grand jury.
In court Thursday, the judge credited Harding for taking responsibility and showing remorse. However, he believed prison time was warranted as a general deterrence. In addition to the prison sentence, Harding will serve two years of supervised release.
Read the full article. As I noted earlier this week, the judge is a Trump appointee who once served under cultist former Florida AG Pam Bondi. Ten months after making it private, Harding revived his Twitter account, the bio of which boasts of his “Don’t Say Gay” bill. In January 2023, Harding’s brother-in-law was sentenced to 5.5 years on similar COVID fraud charges. Harding’s lawyer pleaded for leniency because his client returned the stolen funds after being caught.
BREAKING: Former Florida state lawmaker Joe Harding, sponsor of the “Don’t Say Gay” law, has been sentenced to 4 months in prison for defrauding the federal government of $150,000.
He will have to surrender himself into custody on Jan. 29th.
— Silas Morgan (@SilasMorgan1128) October 19, 2023
To the parents of Florida: I stand with you and I see you.
I’m sorry that there are people like below that want to take away your rights, sexualize your 6 year olds and lie to you. https://t.co/Y3wa9SLfpA
— Joe Harding (@josephbharding) March 28, 2022
— Joe Harding (@josephbharding) October 18, 2023