The complaint states that during the qualifying period, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department received a qualifying check dated June 10, 2015, in the amount of $1,800 from the Carlos A. Gimenez campaign account. Since the June 2015 check was dated over a year prior, it was rejected by the bank. In the August 14th live debate between Regalado and Gimenez, Gimenez stated that the elections department, which he heads as the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, called him and told him â€œhey you may have a problem there.â€ Records show that Gimenez submitted a second campaign check at 10:21 pm on June 20th 2016 â€“ the day before the qualifying deadline.
Florida Statute 99.0671(7)(a) states that if a candidateâ€™s check is returned by the bank for any reason, the filing officer shall immediately notify the candidate and the candidate shall have until the end of the qualifying to pay the fee with a cashierâ€™s check purchased from funds of the campaign account. Failure to pay the fee as provided in this subparagraph shall disqualify the candidate.
Since Gimenez did not pay the qualification fee with a cashier's check, as expressed in the Florida Statute, he therefore failed to comply with the Florida Statute and should be disqualified as a candidate for the 2016 Miami-Dade County mayoral election. But there is also a question as to whether he qualified on time. The county has refused to turn over surveillance camera videos that would show who came in with the check and when.
Carlos Gimenez should not be on the ballot, said Regaladoâ€™s attorney, Peter Gonzalez, of the Coral Gables law firm of Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Gomez & Machado. â€œMayor Gimenez failed to comply with Florida law. He did not follow the required method for qualifying for the county election,â€ Gonzalez said. â€œThe Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections must comply with Florida law and remedy the situation by disqualifying Gimenez. Otherwise, the court will.â€
â€œOnce again, Carlos Gimenez abuses his power as strong mayor of Miami-Dade County,â€ Regalado said. â€œHis direct influence over the Miami-Dade County Elections Department and his failure to comply with Florida statute violates the public trust and places into question the validity and integrity of this election. â€œ The media is invited to a press conference at the courthouse steps Thursday morning.
WHAT: Lawsuit filed to disqualify Carlos Gimenez as a candidate
WHEN: 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016
WHERE: Miami-Dade County Courthouse, 73 W.Flagler St.
(NW 1st Street side)