Supervisor of Elections Asks to be Removed from Lawsuit

by Kemp Brinson

Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards has filed a motion to dismiss seeking to be removed as a party to the pending county commissioner term limit/salary cap lawsuit.

Ms. Edwards’s Motion to Dismiss does not address the merits of the argument. Instead, she simply alleges that she has not begun qualifying candidates for the 2012 commission races. Thus, there is no present controversy that involves her:

“Based upon the timeframes that currently exist, Defendant Edwards is not a necessary party to this action, as she will undertake no responsibilities with respect to the office of County Commissioner in Polk County by way of qualifying individuals for such office until the middle of next year.” (Motion, para. 7).

“Any declaration which may be issued by the Court herein with respect to the validity of Article 2, Section 2.3 [Ed: the term limits provision], will not directly involved Defendant Edwards. Defendant Edwards will act in accordance with the Florida Statutes and the Polk County Charter as it exists at the point in 2012 when qualifying occurs. ” (Motion, para. 10).

In other words, she has no reason to care what the charter says right now. She won’t care until qualifying season rolls around. So why not let everyone else fight this out on their own terms and leave her out of it until there is a reason to get her involved?

Yesterday, I hypothesized that Ms. Edwards might concede or take no position on the questions raised by the lawsuit. The position she has actually chosen to take is similarly neutral but more proactive. She wants out of this lawsuit.