Braman Recall Petition Too Legit to Quit

The effort to oust Carlos Alvarez moves forward

Score one -- or make that 112,000 -- for Norman Braman.

Mayor Carlos Alvarez dropped his lawsuit against Norman Braman and his petition to recall the controversial mayor Thursday, the Miami Herald reported.

The suit, which argued that a deputy clerk for Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin, not Ruvin himself, signed the petition approval -- thus making it bogus -- was voluntarily dismissed by Alvarez's attorney, Bruce Rogow.

In a deposition, Ruvin said he was out of the country when the signature was needed, but that he gave the deputy clerk specific instructions on what to do with the documents in question, thus proving that Ruvin was indeed personally involved with the approval.

"Had Mr. Ruvin shared with the Mayor and the Mayor's counsel that he had personally read and corrected the petition form before he left the country, the ligitation could have been obviated,'' Rogow told the Herald.

"You don't have to sue Mr. Ruvin to ask whether he approved the form,'' Braman's attorney Roberto Martinez said. "From the beginning, this lawsuit was not about splitting hairs, but about finding a hair to split.''

Braman launched his recall effort in September after county commissioners passed the $7.3 billion budget that will see property taxes raised as much as 14 percent in some cases while employees receive pay raises.

Last month, Braman submitted his petition with 112,000 signatures, and the petition is now being reviewed.

Meanwhile, Alvarez stands by his decision to increase taxes rather than cut services.

"I was not going to be the mayor that closes down fire stations, that closes down parks, basically all these things that I've been working for my entire adult life," Alvarez recently said at a community event. "I was not going to do that. I'd rather be recalled."

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