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Two Cases Involving One Commissioner’s Residency Moving Forward

Leon School Superintendent Jackie Pons (right) with City Commissioner Scott Maddox campaigning.

A hearing is scheduled to continue Friday in a case questioning Tallahassee Commissioner Scott Maddox’s residency.

City resident Erwin Jackson filed the suit after Maddox won reelection. He claims Maddox does not meet residency requirements for the seat and does not live in his district. That case is now before the Leon County circuit court. Meanwhile, the city of Tallahassee has filed a brief with the Florida Supreme Court arguing the city charter gives it the right to decide the matter. Lewis Shelley is the city attorney. He says the issue falls under what’s often referred to as “home rule.”

“Fundamental to that is the authorities and powers given to the city in its charter. Then there are whole sets of the Florida statutes, Chapter 166 for example, that gives municipalities specific grants of authorities and all that that together is referred to generally by local governments as home rule authority, or home rule,” Shelley said.

The city has not asked the Supreme Court to stay the case currently taking place in the circuit court, meaning the judge in that case could rule before the Supreme Court decides whether to take up the city’s home rule case.