Saying he wants to commit himself to “being the person God intended” him to be, conservative Republican St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery resigned his seat this week after he was accused publicly by a local firefighter of conducting an affair with his wife.
“I have realized that working through deeply private issues while maintaining public office is neither in the best interests of my family and those I care about, nor St. Lucie County,” the married Mowery said in his resignation letter to Gov. Rick Scott. “This decision has been a most difficult one to reach. I ask forgiveness of any transgressions I’ve made and commit myself to being the person God intended me to be.
“I apologize to my family, my fellow commissioners and to the citizens of this community who have elected me twice to this office.”
And so, two-term official Mowery became the third Treasure Coast sitting commissioner making news in the past seven days. Two commissioners in neighboring Martin County were charged with tinkering with public records last week. One, Ed Fielding, is facing up to a year in prison. The other, Sarah Heard, is facing a steep fine.
Former U.S. Congress candidate Mowery, who also served on the St. Lucie County Fire Board, isn’t facing criminal charges.
But he ended up at the receiving end of the wrath of a jilted husband, firefighter Peter Villasuso.
Villasuso told the Miami Herald he is taking no delight in Mowery’s fall from grace.
“I’ve been praying for peace and forgiveness,” Villasuso said. “Everything that’s happening is his doing, not mine. I don’t judge. He is being judged by a higher power.
“The man should’ve known better.”
Two weeks ago, Villasuso wrote letters to Scott and the fire district accusing Mowery of having an affair with his wife of 20 years, Sharon Villasuso.
The mother of three young children’s Twitter handle, it turns out, is @sharonforjesus.
Mowery, Villasuso wrote, “not only shows callous disregard for the sanctity of marriage, but also shows his breach of fiduciary duty to the firefighters of the fire district. (He) destroyed the trust and confidence of my fellow first-responders. How can a firefighter go to work on a 24-hour shift knowing that a Fire Board member may be at his or her home having an affair with their spouse?”
Villasuso followed up that letter with two more to county commissioners and the Republican Party of St. Lucie County just before Thanksgiving.
Mowery is also married. He and local school teacher Deborah, a former combat medic, have two children. Mowery is a deacon at Calvary Port St. Lucie, and his wife coordinates the children’s ministry.
As of today, neither couple filed for divorce.
Mowery’s land line was disconnected and he didn’t reply to a request for comment on his cellphone.