Mayor Sues Over Recall Petition - NBC 6 South Florida

Mayor Sues Over Recall Petition

Mayor tries to get signatures thrown out over a technicality



    When a car salesman makes a promise, he keeps it.

    Norman Braman said he would be able to collect more than enough signatures to get the recall of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez on the ballot and he delivered in a big way Friday, backing up a large delivery truck filled with boxes of signed petitions to the Clerk of Courts building in downtown Miami.

    Braman hand delivered the 112,000 signed recall petitions to the Clerk of the Court in front of about two dozen supporters and a throng of media members.

    "We promised we would do this and now we are delivering," he said.

    But while Braman was delivering his papers, Alvarez was submitting a few papers of his own - legal papers.

    The mayor filed a lawsuit Friday afternoon to get the signatures ruled invalid because Braman's petition was approved by the deputy clerk and not Clerk of Courts Harvey Ruvin, as county rules stipulate.

    It took less than a month to collect the signatures from angry county taxpayers, who blame Alvarez for the raising taxes while also approving raises for county employees during the budget vote this year.

    Alvarez has tried to explain the raises were not his doing and were built in to union contracts.

    The 112,849 signatures is a bit of overkill because Braman only needed around 52,000 signatures to secure the recall question will be on a special election ballot, which could ironically cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

    Alvarez doesn't plan to get kicked out of office without a fight. He has enlisted the help of the county police department and the Florida Marlins to fight Braman's efforts.

    For now the now mortal enemies will have to wait and see what happens as the clerk prepares to certify each signed petition.

    The boxes were taken to a safe room where 20 workers will compare signatures on the petitions with signatures of voters on their registration information. There is no timetable for the tedious task to be completed, which means voters might not get the chance to kick Alvarez out anytime soon.

    A petition drive to recall five other sitting county commissioners who voted in favor of the tax-hiking budget is expected to announce it too has collected enough signatures later today.