Florida’s former GOP congressional candidate uses illegal drugs again, says ex-wife

The convicted felon who lost a special congressional election earlier this year as the South Florida Republican candidate relapsed into illegal drug use, and his behavior threatens the safety of his two young sons, his ex says -woman in a new plea.

Jason MarinerThe 36-year-old from Loxahatchee, advertising executive and self-proclaimed conservative ‘America First’ candidate, voluntarily spent seven days in a drug rehabilitation center last month until he retired on August 19, Charlene Mariner38, of Jupiter, said in court documents.

Jason Mariner and his attorney did not return phone calls, texts or emails for five days to discuss Charlene Mariner’s claims or court records. Jason Mariner has filed a counterclaim in court, accusing his ex-wife of hiding the couple’s children and breaching a shared custody agreement. Jason Mariner said she still owed him $7,000 from their divorce and she texted him saying that as far as she’s concerned, “there’s no deal.”

Charlene Mariner said in court records that her ex-husband passed out from drugs or alcohol when they swapped custody of their sons earlier this summer and said the mother and wife Jason Mariner’s girlfriend had both reported to him last month that he was again using illegal drugs and acting irrationally, and the children were not safe.

Jason Mariner’s mother, Sheli Mariner of Port Saint Lucie, and girlfriend, Danielle Calcagno of Port Saint Lucie, also failed to return multiple phone calls, text messages and emails.

Jason Mariner was “clearly under the influence of drugs and/or controlled substances” on August 10 during a Facetime call with the children, Charlene Mariner said in court records. She described his speech as inaudible and said he was “clearly not sober”.

Charlene Mariner declined in phone interviews to discuss her divorce or her new claims about Jason Mariner.

county judge Debra Moses Stephens last month denied an emergency motion to immediately return custody of the children to Charlene Mariner. The ex-wife separately asked the court to require Jason Mariner to undergo a drug test and only allow him supervised visitation from the boys, not joint custody. This request is pending.

Mariner won the two-way GOP primary last year — six months after his divorce was finalized — with 58% of the vote in the heavily Democratic 20th congressional district, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

He received nearly 11,000 votes, badly losing January’s special election to replace the incumbent US Democratic representative. Alcaeus Hastings, who died last year. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus McCormick won that race with about 45,000 votes, beating Jason Mariner by 59 percentage points, and then won her Democratic primary last month.

Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication, reported last year that Mariner was a criminal who failed to follow the state process to restore his civil rights after his imprisonment. This step is required under Florida law for a candidate to hold political office, although the US Constitution does not prohibit felons from serving in Congress.

No one has officially challenged Mariner’s eligibility, so the issue remains unresolved by the courts or the Florida Division of Elections.

Jason Mariner had served about two years in total in the Palm Beach County Jail in 2007 and 2012 for charges of robbery, burglary, possession of cocaine, obstruction and violently resisting arrest, records show. . He was open during his campaign about his criminal history, telling voters, “Before I ran for Congress, I ran from the law.” He also promised he would be tough on crime.

Delray Beach police said they saw Jason Mariner buying crack cocaine from a house in April 2012 and tried to swallow it when an officer stopped his car for speeding moments later, court records show. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 months in prison and fined $2,792.

Meanwhile, Jason Mariner’s advertising business, Adskinz LLC, is being sued for $1.65 million by a company, Strategic Marketing LLC, which said it provided sales leads, business advice and online support. exchange for a broken promise of 15% of Mariner’s company. The case has been scheduled for a jury trial in the spring.

It was unclear how Jason Mariner supported himself financially. An affidavit he filed in his divorce case last year said he was earning $700 a month with expenses around $3,700 a month. His congressional candidate financial statement, filed last year on Capitol Hill, did not identify any sources of earned or unearned income. His congressional campaign paid his advertising company $1,300 last December, a fraction of the $127,000 spent on the election.

In her new petition, Charlene Mariner asked the judge to order her ex-husband to pay additional child support and cover his attorney’s fees. The home where he lives in Loxahatchee was co-purchased by his mother and girlfriend earlier this year, property records show, but his girlfriend’s last name was misspelled in the records as Calagno, not Calcagno.

Last week, a judge issued a speeding ticket against Jason Mariner after a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy failed to show up for court. The deputy had recorded him on radar on July 11 driving at 83 mph in a 45 mph zone in a car belonging to his mother, according to the citation. His ex-wife and the MP said his children, aged 6 and 3, were in the back seat. Her youngest son will be 4 this week.

sheriff’s spokesperson, Therese Barberasaid the deputy had informed the court in advance that he was not available that day.

Days after his July 14 speeding citation, the Florida Highway Patrol said Jason Mariner crashed the same car on Interstate 95 west of Lantana, Florida, causing approximately $2,600 in property damage. . Her sons were in the back of the car in booster seats, according to the accident report. A soldier cited him for reckless driving and he is due to appear in circuit court on September 28 in that case.

Charlene Mariner said she previously believed her sons were not in the car during the collision. The Florida Highway Patrol accident report lists the two sons as passengers in the back seat.

Charlene Mariner cited the traffic incidents in her court filing and said her ex-husband ‘put the underage children in grave danger’.


This story was produced by Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication. The journalist can be reached at troy.myers@freshtakeflorida.com. You can donate to support our students here.

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