A Florida county commissioner was arrested Thursday on multiple prostitution-related charges after authorities said he housed and fed a couple in exchange for having sex with the man's wife twice a week, The Tampa Bay Times reported.
Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged with one count of operating a location for the purpose of lewdness, assignation or prostitution and two counts of purchasing services from a person engaged in prostitution, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The charges are second-degree misdemeanors for a first offense, and each has a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. Nicholson posted $3,000 bail, records show.
Florida law allows Gov. Rick Scott to suspend an elected official through an executive order, the Times reported.
"Governor Scott expects all elected officials to behave ethically and responsibility. Our office is aware of this and reviewing the details,’’ spokesman McKinley Lewis told the Times.
The charges followed an alleged domestic dispute in February between Kendel Surette, 33, and Valerie Surette, 30, who were living at Nicholson’s home in Spring Hill. Kendel Surette told deputies that Nicholson had housed and fed the couple for six months; in exchange, Surette said, Nicholson had sex with his wife on Tuesdays and Saturdays, according to court records. Nicholson paid the Surettes $100 every Tuesday and $200 every Saturday, the Times reported.
Kendel Surette also told deputies that Nicholson allowed his wife to have sex with other clients on a mattress in the commissioner’s garage or in a car in the driveway, the Times reported.
Nicholson said in February that he met Valerie Surette at Icon Gentlemen’s Club, where she was a stripper. He denied having sex with the woman.
“She keeps me company,’’ he told the Times. “I’m just a nice guy, so they just took advantage of me.’’
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Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com