Thursday, March 22, 2007

Judge throws out Alachua election hopefuls' petition

Sun staff writer

A circuit judge on Monday dismissed a petition that would have allowed Alachua City Commission candidate Charlie Grapski to run against Mayor Jean Calderwood rather than Commissioner Bonnie Burgess in the city's April 10 election.

Attorneys Gary Edinger and Joe Little had filed the petition on behalf of Grapski and Michael Perkins, also a commission candidate, on Friday. It asked that a judge order the city to allow Grapski to run against Calderwood rather than Burgess.

The city last month disqualified Grapski and Perkins, who had filed to run against Burgess, and Lowell T. "Bud" Byrd, who filed to run against Calderwood, from competing in the election, claiming their paperwork was improperly filed.

The three candidates filed a legal challenge to that decision March 6. The next day, the city called an emergency meeting to extend its qualifying period to allow the three to "correct deficiencies" in their paperwork.


At the Monday afternoon hearing, Roundtree addressed a trespass order the city had issued Grapski on Feb. 12 after city officials said he was disruptive when seeking public records at City Hall.

Grapski had filed an injunction to overturn the trespass order, which prohibited Grapski from returning to City Hall. But the city filed a response to the injunction that said the warning prohibited Grapski from coming back to City Hall only the day it was issued. Edinger said he wasn't sure that's what the city originally intended, but said he planned to dismiss the injunction anyway.

"I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth," Edinger said.

Attorney Robert Rush, who represented the city, said the trespass order was clearly worded to apply only to the day it was issued.

Click the title to go to the original article.

Thanks to Denise at Howard Empowered for the link.


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