Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Flinn vs. Cody Court Hearing Today. By geniusofdespair


Read Wedensday's Post if you haven't been following the issue.

I am at the hearing on Flagler today to see Stephen Cody's case against District 8 candidate Eugene Flinn, for not filing a resignation letter. Natacha's buddy, Cody, got the hearing pretty quickly to try to get Flinn thrown out, it is before Judge Ron Friedman. I will be reporting from the courtroom as best I can.
1:24pm Cody is here so is Flinn and Sola's attorney. Waiting on Flinn's attorneys. We are having hearing in chambers as judge Pando is using his courtroom. Media has arrived. One of Flinn's attorneys is here. 1:40 starting in office, intros being done. Now Cody is presenting case. TV media left, no one from Herald. Sola's office nothing to say (that is elections). Sola's attorney said 20,000 votes already cast in early voting. 60,000 absentee. Ben Kuehne doing Flinn's defense. He is saying that early voters will be disenfranchised.

Judge asked Cody when he found out. Cody is now saying he didn't know till the day before he filed the suit. 1:55 Cody cross of elections representative. Judge asking questions too, now Kuehne. 2:04 Village clerk now up. Cody asked if she had gotten resign to run letter and she said no. Kuehne is asking if the election filing papers were publically available months ago on line. She said they were. 2:13: Cody referring to last night's meeting with clerk. Cody cross of Flynn. Flynn admits he has not submitted resign to run letter. He said however his term of office ends Nov. 6th. He was sworn into office Nov. 7 2002 and the village charter says he, or anyone serving in the village, cannot hold office more than 8 years. The county job doesn't begin till November 16th, Sorenson's last day. 2:32 Kuehne read from home rule charter which says you have 10 days to file a complaint. Cody did not file his complaint within 10 days of the filing. Cody was saying the charter was superceded by State election law which gave no time limit. Since we have home rule and this is a county office...the charter would apply said the other side.

2:30 closing arguments. 2:46 basically Cody is saying the terms overlap. Flinn's attorneys are saying they don't. Geller speaking now in rebuttal. Focusing on home rule charter. Manner to challenge is in the home rule charter and Cody didn't abide by that. Also, Cody had brought up the other case of Resign to Run. Geller is the attorney for that case and explained why this one was different. Kuehne now quoting from election law of resign to run -- it is not based on hypothetical occurrences. Cody again finishing up. 2:57 Now Kuehne is presenting asking village attorney about charter and village policy. Side note, Cody said something about the home rule charter and boasted I should know I wrote/developed this...the judge corrected him and said the name of the person who did write/develop whatever they were referring to in the charter. Everyone laughed. Kuehne asks the village attorney for her opinion on when Flinn's term expires. She believes the 8 year cutoff for the term applies. 3:08 Judge said he was taking it under advisement -- he said he was definitely NOT taking Flinn's name off the ballot. Done!! For those who need it spelled out this means Mayor Eugene Flinn is in the race for the remainder!

31 comments:

CATO said...

G.O.D. so if someone swaers on the bible and lies and since your G.O.D. and are in the courtroom can you call them out?
Just asking?

PS
Can you feel the vile ones presence, is their a scent of methane in the air in there?

Anonymous said...

This is great!! A semi-live webcast from the courthouse!! This is an interesting case... If Gene is knocked out, the polls I am looking at show Duly getting in the run-off against Taddeo.. Should be a good race!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Flinn knew this was going to happen all along and would use the typical "voters will be disenfranchised" excuse for his defense. He broke the law, he should have known this was going to happen before he ran.

Sam said...

not looking good for Flinn

Smith said...

Did Flinn get disqualified?

Anonymous said...

Has the fact that Palmetto Bay moved up their date to take office at yesterday's meeting come up yet? A little tricky isn't it?

Anon said...

Anon above,

wow, two hispanics going against each other in an anglo district! Could get interesting!!!

Anonymous said...

Who's "Duly"?

miaexile said...

For pete's sake, Mr Flinn's term expires on Nov 7 because of term limits so what's the issue, really? Sounds like the judge is on the ball tho - what a shame and waste of time Mr Cody. Hiss boo to you.

Wrapped said...

the suspense is killing me?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous above, what "Polls" are you looking at? And I don't think Flinn will get disqualified if everything in G.O.D's summary is correct, which I suspect it is. The law is pretty clear that you don't have to resign unless you would be in both offices at the same time. His mayoral position ends before the commissioner position would begin based on the 8 year rule. Add the fact that Cody didn't file in 10 days and I think it will be difficult for a judge to rule against Flinn. But, what "polls" are you seeing?

Anonymous said...

Often times the candidates do not resign because they want to keep their seat if they lose (like Carla Savola a couple of years ago). This is not the case with Flinn. He cannot keep his seat because he is term limited. Hope the judge considers this.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me that Cody will lose again, and Flinn stays in race.

Albert Harum-Alvarez said...

Challenges like this one—ones that can remove candidates from the ballot—should be made before voting begins.

This would save voters from being disenfranchised. And it would save a lot of heartache for candidates and their families and supporters, who find out after they have worked so hard that it was for naught.

Right now, it's a shame for Gene's supporters.

Sam said...

so, he is not disqualified?

Anonymous said...

and Palmetto Bay passed a resolution last night to change the term if office to end on Nov. 6th. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Can you imagine the backlash Taddeo's camp will get if THEY FAIL to have Mayor Flinn disqualified?

I wonder if she'll answer any interview requests - then?

We all know what they say about payback...

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem that way. Guess your candidate will just have to stand or fall on his merits, Anon. Thanks for the play-by-play, GoD.

Hawk said...

My previous post was incorrect about the number of voters. My bad

Anonymous said...

FLINN WINS__ Court refuses to remove him from the ballot. Cody refuses to name candidate behind effort to remove Flinn. Another dirty political trick to effect the vote!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful reporting. Great job. Did Cody say anything about appealing that decision?

Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to ask Cody if he is voting for Gene now. LOL He said he probably would have voted for him if he had not ran afoul of the law, and if a judge says he didn't violate the law then Cody should stand up to his words and vote for Gene. What do you think the chances are that it actually happens?

Anonymous said...

Albert why are you saying it is a shame for Gene's supporters. He is in the race? Were you there?

Geniusofdespair said...

Cato: yes to both questions.

Anonymous said...

The Judge said Flinn was not going to be removed from the ballot because it's a logistical nightmare and there is no legal precedent for that . . . what happens in these cases is the name stays on the ballot but votes for that candidate won't be counted if a challenge is successful in court. If I'm reading G.O.D.'s post right, the judge said he's taking info. under advisement which means we're still awaiting a verdict. Did the judge use those words?

Geniusofdespair said...

I guess I was in a different room. No, the judge did not use those words. Besides, judges strike people from the ballot all the time so there is plenty of precedent. Quit making things up. Granted I am not the best listener but don't agree that was what transpired last anonymous-- I mean Cody.

Geniusofdespair said...

You know there were very few people in the room and I am not going to get into legal fine points about what happened when I am not a lawyer.

I told you what happened as best as I could. If you were in the room and you have a different recollection you can send me an email, we will discuss your comments there geniusofdespair@yahoo.com, or you can tell the Miami Herald your version.

Geniusofdespair said...

First: Flinn didn't break the law. This trial was about timetables. Yes the council meeting last night came up. Sam: Actually I thought the proceedings went very well for Flinn. He got a great result. He is still on the ballot. No they can't appeal as the judge has not rendered an opinion except that Flinn is on the ballot. When he does I suppose that Cody could appeal. Warning: I am not a lawyer although I play one on the Internet.

Anonymous said...

I was in the courtroom, heard the testimony and the legal argument and the judge's ruling. His exact words: I will take it under advisement, but under no circumstances will I take a name off the ballot. Ben Kuhne did an excellent job representing Flinn. Cody represented himself, pro se, and you know what they say about having a fool for a client. A few things struck me. First; Cody's clear disdain for the Village of Palmetto Bay. He kept calling it a town,( and he lives there) and when someone corrected him and said it was the village council, not town council, he very snidely said "Village council, as opposed to village people". Second,he was barely credible in his attempt at a legal argument which was all based on hypotheticals,ignoring plain meaning of the state law, and county home rule charter and ordinances and he was factually incorrect at one point arguing that all council members are elected and terms end at the same time, when there are clearly staggered terms, and always remaining council when others are term limited. Flinn's reading of the Palmetto Bay charter limiting all elected council members and mayors to no more than 8 years, obviated the need to file a letter of resignation, so as of Nov 7th when his 8 years is completed, and his term ends, there would be no overlap. Imagine how many other candidates running for another office have and will read the law the same way, believe in good faith the law is not applicable to them and unless they too face a desperate opponent would never be accused of violating this law. For Eugene Flinn and the voters of district 8, this was a clear victory, and an unfortunate minor distraction from completing a winning campaign. I look forward to celebrating his victory.

Anonymous said...

So now Stephen Cody adds his name to the
Forces Of Darkness (FODS?) in this County by
at least twice running to do the dirty work of
Nasty Seijas. How and why does one volunteer
to be a pariah? To what end? At and for what
price? I hope it was worth it Mr. Cody. Is that how
you can afford to live in luxury? Enjoy it. How much
is the loss of a good name worth? Priceless.

Geniusofdespair said...

Anonymous 2 above -- sent in email.

If you are speculating on what happened--- I asked for it in email. This is pretty much what I heard too, I don't want to misinform you guys with campaigns reading their spin into what didn't happen.