The City of Tallahassee filed a motion in the second judicial circuit court in Leon County on Wednesday seeking jurisdiction over the question raised by Dr. Erwin Jackson about the residency of City Commissioner Scott Maddox.
Dr. Jackson brought an action seeking a judicial decision stating that Scott Maddox is ineligible to sit as a city commissioner and invalidating the results of the election held on August 30, 2016.
Our previous report on the issue can be read here.
In the City’s motion to intervene, Assistant City Attorney Louis C. Norvell wrote:
The Charter of the City of Tallahassee provides that the Tallahassee City Commission is the judge of the qualifications of its members and the determination as to whether Mr. Maddox is eligible to sit on the City Commission is reserved to the Commission. Section 13 of the City Charter states: “The commission shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its own members subject to review by the courts.” Therefore, the City Commission is the exclusive forum for the initial determination as to the qualification of Mr. Maddox to sit as a commissioner.
The last time the City of Tallahassee addressed a residency issue was with the election of Mayor John Marks back in the early 2000’s.
Mr. Marks, whose residence was outside the City of Tallahassee boundaries, qualified as a candidate using the address of a town-home he owned within the city limits. Shortly after winning the election and being installed as Mayor, the City Commission voted to annex his residence.
Mr. Norvell’s twisted statement attempting to justify the City Commission as the ONLY authority to “judge the qualifications of its members” is a direct insult and refusal of the voters’ rights to pursue legal action and force “members” of the City Commission to abide by the city charter, which is crystal clear on the residence requirements of city officials.
There is no ambiguity here:
Does Mr. Maddox live inside the city limits or not? As a city commissioner, he is legally required to LIVE (reside, dwell, stay in, inhabit, spend significant family activities and time, and any other common definitions of “live”) within the city limits. It’s a simple question that demands a simple answer based on the word “live”. And the citizens of Tallahassee have the perfect legal right to that answer.
I would point out to Mr. Norvell the most cogent words of his own statement are “subject to review by the courts.” You, sir – and every other Tallahassee city official are “subject” and can be legally challenged at any time the voters deem appropriate.
Scott Maddox’s pattern continues with his problems that he then uses staff, tax dollars, and energy to protect himself rather than doing the right thing in the first place or taking accountability and responsibility.
The elected officials who do not live in their districts are breaking the law, committing fraud, and selfishly misdirecting resources that should be used on the public to protect themselves. They are cowards and are doing harm to the taxpayers and public at large.
Now the city attorney is a co-conspirator? If Maddox annexes himself into the city limits then it is an acknowledgement that he has committed fraud.
Hopefully the judge and governor will say enough!
Need to have the same due diligence for Bill Proctor on the County Commission side of the residency equation.
I’m sick and tired of reading about this corruption. Where do I go to de-annex my city property?
I don’t want to hear it, when a gang of crooks say they will take care of their own. The public deserves to have the judicial system weigh in on this issue.
R-E-S-I-D-E-N-C-E where he resides with his family, his home…NOT his business address, office location, or parcel where a Quitclaim is made for dubious reasons.
He bought the old dentist office down from the Greyhound station for a home.