Former mayor of “corrupt and crazy” town found guilty of drug charges
(CNN) — The former mayor of a Florida city that successfully fought back an attempt to dissolve it over corruption has been found guilty of possessing and distributing oxycodone while he was in office.
A jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Tuesday evening before finding Barry Layne Moore, 52, guilty of obtaining and selling the prescription narcotic, said Brad Smith, a spokesman for the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office. Moore is being held without bail and will be sentenced June 10.
Moore had been mayor for just a few weeks when he was arrested November 25 after selling a single 30-milligram oxycodone pill, known on the street as a “blueberry,” to an undercover informant for $20.
He said he had known the informant for years and denied accepting any money for the pill, which was prescribed to him by a doctor for chronic back pain. He acknowledged being addicted to pain medication.
Florida legislators had sought to dissolve Hampton, a city of 477 residents off U.S. 301 between Jacksonville and Gainesville, after an audit (PDF) uncovered financial irregularities, mismanagement and a police force that had grown out of proportion with the size of the city.
The legislators agreed to spare Hampton after Moore and other city officials resigned and the city agreed to dismantle its police force, abandon the speed trap and allow the sheriff to assume responsibility for public safety.
City officials also agreed to hold special elections in September to tweak the city’s 1925 charter and elect a new mayor and city council.