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Gov. Scott suspends S. Manatee fire commissioner after arrest

MANATEE -- Gov. Rick Scott has suspended Mark D. Ruben from his position as fire commissioner for the Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue District.

Ruben was arrested Thursday on several sexual assault and child molestation charges. He is being held without bond at the Manatee County jail.

“It is in the best interests of the residents of Manatee County and the citizens of the state of Florida that Mark D. Ruben be immediately suspended from the public office which he now holds,” Scott wrote in an executive order issued Tuesday.

Ruben allegedly molested several children between 2008 and 2010, according to an arrest warrant.

“Mark D. Ruben is prohibited from performing any official act, duty or function of public office,” Scott wrote. “He will receive no pay or allowance.”

Ruben’s suspension begins immediately and continues until a further executive order is issued, Scott wrote.

Scott’s order also states that Ruben, 46, has been charged with two counts of sexual battery upon a child less than 12 years of age, three counts of lewd or lascivious molestation upon a child less than 12 years old, two counts of sexual battery upon a person between the ages of 12 and 18 by a person in familial/custodial authority and one count of lewd or lascivious molestation upon a child 12 years or older, but less than 16 years old.

Ruben is one of five elected commissioners on the board that oversees the Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue District.

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