EUSTIS – Some members of the Eustis City Commission have raised questions about the residency of one of their colleagues.
Vice Mayor Marie Aliberti last week suggested that Commissioner Anthony Sabatini, elected in November 2016, may not be eligible to hold office based on the city’s residency requirements.
“It was a concerned citizen who brought it up to me, and like any other issue, I put it in the back of my head until I could get more information,” Aliberti said. “I don’t want things being said about the city that are not true, so I decided to look into it.
“Right away, I noticed things just didn’t jive.”
Aliberti said the documents she uncovered clearly show that Sabatini may not have been living in Eustis for two years immediately preceding his run for office, as the city charter requires.
“The integrity of the commission, and our votes, rely on the affidavits we sign when we apply to run for office stating we’ve been residents for two years prior,” she said. “If that’s not the case, any votes that we have taken, if they were a majority 3-2 vote, are in question.”
Sabatini, 28, said he has lived in Eustis all his life but acknowledged that, as a member of the United States National Guard and as a student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, he’s traveled or stayed outside of Eustis temporarily.
But he insists that his parent’s home, where he lived until recently when he got his own apartment on Bay Street in Eustis, has always been his permanent address.
One of the documents Aliberti furnished the board shows that Sabatini registered to vote in Gainesville in August 2016. Sabatini said he only registered to vote in Alachua County out of convenience because voting is on Tuesdays and he has classes that day.
He said it’s not illegal to be registered in another county than where one lives while in school.
Sabatini, a 2012 UF graduate who in December will graduate from UF…