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Group announces lawsuit against Jacksonville General Counsel Cindy Laquidara

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – In a rare Sunday afternoon press conference, a local group announced a lawsuit against Jacksonville's legal expert.

Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County believe Cindy Laquidara is not rightfully the city's general counsel.

John Winkler, president of Concerned Taxpayers, insists it's a call to follow protocol and not an attack on a political adversary.

Laquidara served as interim general counsel when Rick Mullaney left the office in 2010. She stayed in office when Mayor Alvin Brown took over two years ago - and that's where Winkler says there's a procedural problem. The city's standard for recommendation and confirmation was not followed, in Winkler's opinion.

"We believe we really don't have any choice but to ask the courts to overturn this ruling on her part. The charter was not followed in her appointment, and there is a process that needs to be followed in order to appoint a general counsel," Winkler said.

Laquidara did not respond to calls made by Channel 4, but the mayor's office did.

Chief of Staff Chris Hand points back to Laquidara's official response last month, where she says Brown legally reappointed her.

"As I believe Ms. Laquidara addresses on page 7 of her opinion, the relevant City of Jacksonville Charter provision would be as follows: Section 7.204. Reappointment: A general counsel may be reappointed by a newly elected mayor or by a mayor elected to serve a succeeding term of office," Hand said.