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Former Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes Charged with Three Felonies


BRADENTON — Former Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes has been charged with three felonies by the State Attorney's Office.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office began an investigation into Hopes last March. In November, upon the conclusion of its investigation, MCSO recommended that the State Attorney's office file charges.

Hopes had been a Manatee County School board member when Manatee County Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge hand-picked him to serve in the role, convincing fellow board members to vote for a candidate with no relevant experience despite several more qualified candidates expressing interest in the job.

Hopes was hired as an interim county administrator soon after Van Ostenbridge successfully led a campaign to fire Cheri Coryea, the county's first female administrator. Despite a promise to the public that a national search would be conducted, Van Ostenbridge successfully convinced the board to hire Hopes into the position permanently instead.

State Attorney Ed Brodsky announced Thursday that his office has filed charges of notary fraud, grand theft, and fraudulent use of a public record. Each charge represents a third-degree felony.

The first charge alleges that Hopes abused his authority as a notary public to knowingly falsify records. The second alleges that he stole county property worth more than $10,000 but less than $20,000.

The third charge alleges that Hopes "knowingly and unlawfully" used a public record or provided "false information that becomes part of a public record" to facilitate the commission of a felony.

The investigation concluded that Hopes deliberately "wiped" a device that contained public records.

The State Attorney's office declined to comment further on the charges.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's arrest inquiries webpage, Hopes was booked on February 8 for each of the charges. The website also confirmed Hopes' same-day release on bond. Bond was reported as $2,500 per each of the three third-degree felonies charged—notary fraud, grand theft, and criminal use of public record. 


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  • Dave

    I'm looking forward to you publishing the alleged facts that underly the charges.

    Thursday, February 8 Report this

  • Cat L

    So, he was literally making more than the Governor of the State of Florida, and still thought it prudent to steal? Huh.

    Birds of a feather....

    ...is all I'm saying...

    Thursday, February 8 Report this

  • Dianna

    Only 3? He will never pay for the amount of damage he has done to our county.

    Thursday, February 8 Report this

  • rjckeuka4

    Dianna is correct!! He can never pay for the damage he did to the County. The problem is the primary guy who engineered his hiring is still there!! Put this one squarely in KVO's lap!! And isn't it interesting...all these guys who set out to "clear the swamp" end up with charges against them...starting with the big guy! Maybe the swamp didn't need clearing in the first place...or maybe there wasn't a swamp then but they created it!!!!!!!!!! Whatever, it's up to us to spread the word and get them out. And it's too bad Mr. Hopes will probably never do any time.

    Thursday, February 8 Report this

  • lib224

    Hopefully, he'll plead guilty, go states evidence, and take down the rest of them.

    Thursday, February 8 Report this

  • Debann

    The BOCC got rid of Cheri Corea for this dipwad...Kevin vanbonehead is another culprit...When the walls come tumbling down so the song goes....VOTE THEM OUT..TURNER , SATCHER ,AND ESPECIALLY THE BOUGAINVILLEA THEIF VANBONEHEAD...THEY DON'T REPRESENT THE CITIZENS THEY ONLY REPRESENT THE DEVELOPERS AND ALL THE $$$$$ GOING IN THEIR WALLETS.. UNFORTUNATELY Hopeless will pay his way out as I have confidence in our state attorney...I mean really look At Kruse's incident...Ballard's husband no charges for his 2 DUI's...that's the way manatee county rolls..NO ACCOUNTABILITY...CHANGE HAPPENS AT THE POLLS

    Thursday, February 8 Report this

  • Debann


    Thursday, February 8 Report this

  • Removetheplantburglar

    We have one commissioner that steals a tree, another that runs into a tree, an ex-Admin that hides the existence of a tree, and the rest of the Administration can’t see the forest for the trees.

    Friday, February 9 Report this

  • $12778.52

    Saturday, February 10 Report this