Monday, March 19, 2007

MONDAY MARCH 19 - COURT HEARING ON ALACHUA LAWSUITS

JUDGE ROUNDTREE WILL CONVENE HEARING AT 1:30 PM
Civil Court | 201 East University Ave. | Third Floor
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND!

Judge Robert Roundtree will be taking action tomorrow (Monday March 19) on a number of cases involving legal disputes between citizens and Alachua city officials. The public is welcome to attend this hearing.

The Alachua cases currently before the Circuit Court include the following:

  1. a lawsuit challenging an unconstitutional trespass order against Charlie Grapski;

  2. a lawsuit filed by Charlie Grapski and Michael Canney claiming violations of open records laws by Alachua officials, involving abuse of the consent agenda and public records violations;

  3. a lawsuit filed by Charlie Grapski claiming that Clovis Watson's employment as City Manager and Police Commissioner violates Florida's constitutional prohibition of dual office holding;

  4. a false arrest civil suit filed by Charlie Grapski against Watson and the City of Alachua for a wrongful felony arrest in City Hall on May 1, 2006.


A lawsuit by Eileen McCoy and other Alachua voters claiming election fraud and misconduct in Alachua's 2006 city commission election is on appeal after being dismissed by Judge Roundtree on a technicality.

Grapski trespass order
Judge Roundtree will hold a non-evidentiary hearing on the City of Alachua's trespass order against Charlie Grapski, issued on February 12 by APD Chief Robert Jernigan and APD officer Jimmy Smith on orders from Clovis Watson. Grapski, who had gone to City Hall to request public records, was told he would be arrested if he returned to the City Hall property for a period of one year. He and attorney Gary Edinger filed a challenge to the trespass order, claiming it is an illegal infringement of Grapski's constitutional rights, and should be nullified by the Court.

Case status conference
Judge Roundtree has asked that the cases involving the City of Alachua be conjoined, and a case status conference will be held tomorrow to determine what the next step will be in the lawsuits. A new mandamus petition was filed on Friday March 16 by Alachua city commission candidates Mike Perkins and Charlie Grapski, replacing an earlier writ that was filed following the city's disqualification of three candidates. It is not clear whether Judge Roundtree will take any action on the mandamus writ on Monday.

For more information search these websites:

http://www.highspringsherald.com
http://freealachua.org/

- Renee*in*Ohio

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