The District 7 commissioner will be known shortly.
Or at least the one for now.
The Third District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that the county could and should release the results of the vote count in that election, which has been suppressed since Tuesday folowing the ruling of a trial judge earlier this week. Yeah, I know. This judge, those judges. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas wanted to withhold the results of the race temporarily until he could hear the merits of a lawsuit to invalidate the District 7 commission race. That lawsuit, filed by TV advice attorney Ricardo Corona, claims the qualification period is not sufficient. But the three-judge appellate panel said Thomas' ruling was deficient and did not have substantive legal backing. They vacated it active immediately, which means results within an hour, I believe.
They did not, however, rule on the merits of the case, sending that ball of wax back to Thomas, who seems to have a real knack for it. In fact, Ladra thinks the county didn't really win the real agenda here, in my non attorney opinion, is that they wanted to take it out of Judge Thomas' arena, since he has already indicated he has issues with the shortness of the qualification period and granted the temporary injunction. This is the second time they do it. They tried to make it a federal case in federal court but it was sent back to Thomas once before.
Monday, when Thomas asked if the parties were ready for oral argument to begin, attorney William Petros, representing Corona, said he was. Assistant County Attorney Eron Rosenthal said he was not. He might want to depose Corona about where he was that day. He might want to see computer records to find out when Corona first went online to inquire about the process. Yet, by the time he drafted the 34-page appeal that was filed Wednesday, he had not done that. Ladra thinks there was never an intent to do that and he lied in open court before Judge Thomas. That was a delay tactic to, once again, take it out of Thomas' court. It's good strategy for an attorney. If he is representing someone, maybe. But not if he is representing us. No bait and switch for us, please. Present your case where it belongs and try it the best you can. This is still an open table. I know that Thomas seems friendly to the plaintiff. He was the one who came up with the qualification issue when Corona first sued to get on the ballot. And he indicated Monday that there was enough for him to issue a temporary injunction. Big deal. He takes this seriously. But it also seemed to Ladra that Thomas is going to rule however he feels is the right legal ruling, despite how it looks to him now. He just seems like he doesn't care what anybody thinks. That is really good for a judge.
It was disingenuous for the county attorney to say Monday that he was not ready for the case to be decided on what was present. He was ready for that now. Maybe the three judges saw through him also and decided to let their colleague in the lower court see it through. Hear, hear.
More to come.