Political Mailers Attack Maughan for Decades-Old Criminal Charges

by SC Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen & Publisher Shannen Hayes

Sanibel City Councilman Jason Maughan is running to succeed Rep. Ray Rodrigues in House District 76, facing Bonita Springs businessman Adam Botana in the Aug. 18 Republican primary.

This race marks the second time in four years Maughan has run for a job in the Legislature. He challenged Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto unsuccessfully in 2016. It was a deeply negative primary in which criminal charges against Maughan, when he was in his 20s, were reported.

The charges stemmed from a June 1995 incident when Maughan shot at a parked vehicle that was occupied and one person was injured. Maughan has claimed he thought the vehicle was abandoned on the side of road, when he aimed his gun’s laser site at it and the gun fired.

He was charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree and malicious mischief in the second degree, both felonies, in a Washington court. Prosecutors later added assault and perjury charges.

All of the charges were dropped and Maughan later won a six-figure lawsuit for wrongful prosecution, according to a 2016 Fox 4 report. However, FloridaPolitics.com reported only the perjury and assault charges were dropped, and Maughan eventually accepted a plea deal for reduced charges.

He told FloridaPolitics.com in June 2016 the past should remain just that and he didn’t think the decades-old incident should be a factor in his Senate campaign. But, it’s come up again.

Two mailers reached Sanibel mailboxes this week, both highlighting the case. The first mailer solely focuses on the case, calling it Maughan’s “big secret.” It warns voters not to be fooled and claims Maughan “likes to pretend his past doesn’t matter.”

It does not endorse a candidate, but was sponsored by Conservatives for Clean Water which only endorses Botana on its website. The second mailer also focuses on the case, but clearly endorses Botana on one side. Calls to Conservatives for Clean Water Chairman Eric Robinson and Botana’s office were not returned by deadline.

“All liberal Adam Botana has is the ability to run a negative campaign,” Maughan said about the mailers. “His only record is that of reckless behavior resulting in a DUI and seven citations in seven years with multiple high-speed traffic convictions.”

Maughan added that Botana has nothing to offer on the issues and “no record of fighting for anything in our community, including clean water. At a time when we need leaders who offer solutions – liberal Adam Botana has already failed the people of Florida House District 76.”

Last month, Maughan released his first television ad focused on public service and his commitment to President Donald Trump’s America First agenda. He promises to fight for clean water, a cornerstone of his 2016 Senate campaign, and promote “shop local policies that put Florida worker’s first.”

Maughan was elected to city council in 2017 following two consecutive appointments to the Sanibel Planning Commission. He owns Maughan, Himschoot & Adams Law Group.

Comments (7)

  1. Not a good selection to choose from.

  2. Laura Oliff-Maxey

    Incompetent liar Trump supporter? No thank you! The past Isn’t the past. Just like trump saying a little flu or a Democrat hoax. Today on our small island of Sanibel 25 diagnosed…. over 135,000 Americans dead because he did not act responsibly. Take your trump agenda and go to Russia. Rule of law Mr Lawyer.. no pardons for those who plead guilty and are now convicted felons. We love a American for a reason… democracy and upholding the Constitution!

  3. Valerie Tutor

    Botana is the rude person who free – anchored an unmanned pontoon boat off the Causeway Islands 24/7 for weeks flying campaign flags and signs like a tacky floating billboard. I didn’t even know that was legal. I checked and his brother or family owns a boat rental company off island somewhere. That was so offensive to see each time I traveled off and on the island. If he was allowed to do that – then all candidates should be able to visually pollute our gorgeous non-political waters (don’t belong to Republicans or Democrats y’all) with their stuff. Have no idea who he is or what he stands for, but that garish spectacle tells me all I need to know about him.

  4. I’m sorry but Ms. Maxey has no evidence that leads to her implication that the President is responsible for Sanibel’s cases or the US deaths.
    She makes no mention of the Administrations travel ban at the end of January and how many lives that may have saved.
    Why would you would print such a hateful letter with no fact checking or context of the statements she attributed to our President ?
    RobertSmith

    • I’m sure Ms. Maxey is referring to the 135,000 dead due to trump’s lack of doing much of anything helpful to prevent this pandemic from becoming so horrendous. Yes, he instituted the travel ban, but still thousands of travelers from that region were allowed into the US. That was about the only thing he did that was half positive, but certainly far from totally successful. Now he acts like the virus is gone. Just saying, you brought it up.

  5. Roberta Yamyam

    Jason Maughan has single handedly removed the coyotes from Sanibel. He gets my vote.

  6. Cliff Beittel

    Folks who want to blame Trump, and laughably Jason Maughan, for coronavirus deaths should check their facts. The biggest mistake Trump made was appointing Tony Fauci (head of the NIAID since 1984) to preside over the virus response team, then letting him stay in place even after it became known that Fauci signed contracts with the Wuhan Lab for gain-of-function studies on bat coronaviruses after such studies were banned in the U.S. in 2014. Gain-of-function means “more dangerous”–i.e. weaponized. Law professor Francis Boyle, author of the Biological Weapons Convention, says Fauci and NIAID are “up to their eyeballs in offensive biowarfare”. So maybe it isn’t a China virus, at least not exclusively, but it sure isn’t a Maughan virus.

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