A College Park Realtor refiled an election law violations complaint Wednesday against Orlando Commissioner Robert Stuart with the Florida Elections Commission.

David Rose originally filed a similar complaint Oct. 12 with the Florida Department of State, which dismissed the complaint six days later.

The complaint was dismissed because the state did not have jurisdiction. Rose said he called Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles, who told him the proper place to file was the Florida Elections Commission.

Stuart is running for his fourth term against Attorney Asima Azam.

The latest complaint cites three election law violations. It states that Stuart used City of Orlando funds to pay for a March 12 Sunday in the Park event sponsored by the College Park Neighborhood Association.The event booth was covered in Stuart campaign signs, according to the complaint.

Records show the City of Orlando sent the association a $500 check on March 30 for the platinum sponsorship of the booth.

Stuart said the campaign paid for the Sunday in the Park event and produced an Oct. 13 letter from Thomas Cook, asking him to submit $250 for the booth.

“After some research, it appears that since you committed to a booth at the last minute, CPNA (College Park Neighborhood Association) did not bill you for the booth,” said the letter from Cook.

Cook chaired the Sunday in the Park event and sits on the board of directors for the Christian Sharing Center, where Stuart serves as executive director.

The second complaint said the commissioner sent out a letter during Hurricane Irma on campaign letterhead volunteering services of government staff.

The third complaint contends that Stuart appeared in a Facebook ad with members of the Orlando Police Department, which Rose charged is “using government resources for campaign purposes.”

Stuart responded to each charge and said, “these claims are baseless.”

 

Stuart claimed that Rose supports Azam and his campaign sent photos of Azam signs in one of Rose’s rental properties on Winter Park Street in Orlando.

Rose initially said he supports neither candidate but when asked about the Azam sign he said he placed it on his rental property because it is in a high-traffic area.

Rose said he filed the complaint because Stuart passed a tandem housing ordinance, which put 28 new restrictions on property he owns in Orlando. He said he doesn’t have the money to fight the ordinance in court so he’s fighting to stop Stuart’s reelection.

In his response to the letter after the hurricane, Stuart said he sent it on campaign stationary so he would not waste taxpayer money.

“I vowed when I was first elected to office never to use taxpayer dollars to communicate with residents during a campaign,” Stuart said.

On the final complaint, Stuart countered there is nothing illegal about being photographed with Orlando police officers.

This is the third complaint filed during the District 3 race, which has been one of the most contentious in years for the City of Orlando. In addition to the two complaints filed against Stuart by Rose, Robert Stuart, Jr. filed a complaint Oct. 17 with the Florida Department of State saying Azam is using campaign signs that fail to disclose who paid for them.

Azam said the signs were a vendor error and she is working to correct the problem.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.