Judge may be asked if Fuller can be on ballot

City attorney says term limits apply to Clerk of Courts

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With just before Florida's primary, there is a battle looming over who can be on the ballot.

At issue is Duval County Clerk of Courts Jim Fuller, who is seeking a fourth term despite the fact that a Florida Supreme Court ruling says term limits should apply to all county constitutional officers.

Now there are questions about an email from the Fuller camp that says the city's lead attorney agrees he should stay on the ballot. But that is not the case.

Fuller says it's all politics when it comes to questions of him staying on the ballot in the upcoming primary. The city's lead attorney, Cindy Laquidara, however, says term limits do apply to him.

One city councilman, John Crescimbeni, will introduce emergency legislation Tuesday that would force Laquidara to file a complaint against Fuller to settle the matter in court. Crescimbeni wants an answer now before the election to see if Fuller is really eligible.

"Well, if the taxpayer takes it to court now and gets resolution of this issue, I assure you it will cost a heck of a lot less than if one of the losing candidates takes it to court and prevails, and we would have to spend $1.8 million on a special election," Crescimbeni said.

"If John Crescimbeni is talking about money, I think he is wasting money if he is taking the General Counsel's time to put in a lawsuit to remove me from the ballot when I have nothing to do with the city or the county," Fuller said.

There is something else up in the air. Channel 4 obtained a copy of the email from Fuller's political director, Robert Foster -- a fundraising letter that says attached is the legal option written that led the city's General Counsel's office, referring to Laquidara, that says any issue of term limits in Duval County does not apply to the Clerk of Courts office.

Channel 4's Jim Piggott showed that to Fuller and asked him if Laquidara had changed her mind or if the statement was wrong.

"I would call her and ask her if she said that. I don't know," Fuller said.

Laquidara sent Piggott an email, which she also sent to Foster, that says, "The statement is not true. As General Counsel, I remain of the opinion that the city's impositions of term limits is indeed applicable to the Clerk of Courts."

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