Judge Postpones Ruling On Seijas Recall Battle

MIAMI (CBS4) — Lawyers fought to a draw Monday in the recall battle involving Miami-Dade commissioner Natacha Seijas.

A Miami judge postponed ruling on her request for an injunction that would derail plans for Seijas to face her district’s voters in a recall election March 15th.

Mayor Carlos Alvarez is on the same ballot and fighting his own legal battle. Both he and Seijas are targets of voters who are angry over their support for a property tax rate hike.

In a videotaped deposition early in the day, Seijas did not even want to admit she’s fighting the recall. A lawyer for Miami Voice, the group behind the recall effort asked Seijas why she did not just submit to the will of voters at the ballot box.

Seijas answered, “Sir, I am not going to answer that question because I don’t’ have an answer for you.”

Her lawyers, meanwhile, hope to prove that a huge number of the more than 4 thousand recall petitions signed by voters are sloppy, incomplete, poorly notarized and inadequately certified.

But proponents of the recall produced their own documents—including a warranty deed for Seijas’ home– in which her name is misspelled. She was asked how she would feel if someone sued to take her home away because of an innocent mistake. Seijas would only answer, “I had it (name) corrected.”

Miami Voice chairwoman Vanessa Brito said, “To say the clerk certified 93 percent of the petitions and to say all are bad, that is tough.”

Seijas’ lawyer, Kendall Coffey, countered that precise rules for recall petition paperwork are in place to protect the sanctity of elections—like the re-election bid Seijas won in 2008. Coffey said, “When you are trying to undo an election that happened two years ago you have to follow the law.”

The debate over that law will continue Tuesday in the intensifying recall battle.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. )


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