The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office today charged Sarasota County Planning Commissioner Bob Waechter, a Siesta Key Association board member, with identity theft.
Deputies investigating a fraudulent $200 donation in the name of Sarasota Council of Neighborhood Associations President Lourdes Ramirez to the campaign of Democrat Keith Fitzgerald determined the charge came from a pre-paid Visa card bought at a local Sweetbay.
Deputies used surveillance footage and the IP address of a computer used to make the contribution to charge Waechter with identity theft, according to the arrest report.
Ramirez, who plans to run for the Sarasota County Commission District 3 seat in 2014 as a Republican, suspected the crime was a political move to prevent her from running for public office.
“I can only say that I was truly shocked when I found out,” Ramirez said in a phone interview.
Waechter could not be reached for comment.