KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Long-time residents along Mill Slough Road in Kissimmee thought one of Carol Woosley’s children moved into her brown and white, one-story home after her death. It wasn’t until police showed up earlier this week that Ronnie Weismore says he realized there could be a problem.
No one would answer the door when FOX 35 knocked on the front door of the home where the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) says Kissimmee Commissioner Sara Shaw has been living with her boyfriend. The two are out of jail on bond, both accused of stealing from Woosley, who died in October 2011.
“Didn't know who she was. Didn't know who was living in this house,” said Weismore.
Weismore and his family have lived along Mill Slough Road in Kissimmee since 1983. He knew the 71-year-old Woosley was estranged from her children.
“We used to cut her grass for her. She was a very nice lady. She tried to pay us. We'd never take her money. We didn't see any activity for almost a week,” said Weismore.
That was back in 2011. Concerned neighbors called police to check out the house, and they found Woosley dead inside of natural causes.
“She was a loaner and when she passed, that house sat empty.”
According to the FDLE, Commissioner Shaw and her boyfriend, Peter Sendtko, moved in April 2014. Investigators say, from May 2014 until September 2015, utilities for this home were paid by automatic withdraws from Carol Woosley bank account. State records show the bills totaled more than $4600.
“That lady is deceased. She's passed, she's gone and you're still allowing those payments to happen? You should have canceled those payments and made those yourself the right way the legal way to take over that property,” said Weismore.
Investigators also charged Sendko, Shaw's boyfriend with dealing in stolen property. FDLE says he sold Shaw’s car to his mom for $700.
At this point, it remains unclear if Shaw’s arrest will affect her position as an elected official.