December 7, 2023
GrayRobinson Shareholder Len Collins successfully challenged the Ocoee City Clerk on behalf of George Oliver, III, in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in and for Orange County, Fla., to qualify Mr. Oliver as a candidate for the City of Ocoee City Commission. The City of Ocoee City Commission initially voted to disqualify Mr. Oliver as a candidate for the Commission because he resigned to run for mayor, lost, and then (after the seat was set for election nearly one year after his resignation) sought to run for the remaining time, which was now his open commission seat. As a result of the Commission’s action, the City Clerk refused to accept qualifying documentation from Mr. Oliver. While the City Charter provides that the Commission shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members, Mr. Oliver was a candidate, and the City Commission had no legal authority to interfere with elections’ qualifying. Len challenged the City Clerk’s failure to perform her ministerial duty as an elections official, arguing that qualifying for office requires ministerial acts on the part of the City Clerk and that the City Commission did not have the authority to interfere with that ministerial duty. The court found with Len, issuing a temporary restraining order and ordering the City Clerk to perform her ministerial duty immediately, accept qualifying documentation from Mr. Oliver, and qualify Mr. Oliver for the City of Ocoee City Commission. Additionally, the court ordered the Orange County Supervisor of Elections to put Mr. Oliver’s name on the ballot once he qualified. Since the order was issued and due to Len’s diligent counsel, Mr. Oliver has qualified and will appear on the ballot. Read – GrayRobinson Litigation Section Successfully Obtained a Court Order Qualifying George Oliver, III a Candidate for City of Ocoee City Commission.