TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida lawmaker who sponsored the controversial regulation critics name “Don’t Say Homosexual” has been indicted on fees of defrauding a federal coronavirus mortgage program for small companies, officers stated Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors stated Rep. Joe Harding, 35, illegally obtained or tried to acquire greater than $150,000 from the Small Enterprise Administration in pandemic assist loans. He’s being charged with two counts of wire fraud, two counts of cash laundering and two counts of creating false statements.
Harding, a Republican, turned nationally recognized this yr over his sponsorship of a regulation that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification in kindergarten by way of third grade, in addition to materials that’s not deemed age-appropriate.
“I need the general public and my constituents to know that I absolutely repaid the mortgage and cooperated with investigators as requested,” Harding stated in a written assertion.
The Republican speaker of the Florida Home of Representatives has quickly eliminated Harding from his committee assignments within the Legislature.
A trial is scheduled for Jan. 11.