Former County Commissioner Heather Carruthers filed a lawsuit on Monday, Nov. 23 challenging the results of the Nov. 3 election in which she lost the District 3 County Commission race to Eddie Martinez.
The lawsuit, filed against Martinez, Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin and the county’s Canvassing Board, claims that Martinez did not live in the County Commission District 3 on Election Day, and is therefore ineligible to hold the office, according to the Florida Constitution.
“Carruthers further seeks a judgment of ouster of Martinez and a revocation of his commission as Monroe County Commissioner District 3,” the lawsuit states.
The complaint asks the court to direct Griffin and the Canvassing Board to “vacate the results of the Nov. 3 general election for Monroe County Commissioner District 3 and certify Carruthers as the winning candidate.”
Carruthers’ attorney Bernadette Restivo writes in the 13-page lawsuit that Martinez “did not legally reside in District 3 on Election Day.”
The suit claims that Martinez was registered to vote using an address of 1100 Truman Ave., Key West, which is located in District 3, however, the suit claims, that address is not a residential dwelling, but rather the business address and a commercial property that houses Martinez’s land surveying business.
When contacted by the Keys Weekly, Martinez said the Truman Avenue property includes a residential apartment.
“I’m shocked and saddened that she can’t accept that she lost,” Martinez said Monday evening. He had not yet seen the lawsuit. “It’s a shame she’s wasting everyone’s time and she better stay away from investigating my family and what school my kids attend.”
“Martinez changed his address to 1009 Simonton St., Key West with the supervisor of election on Nov. 5,” the suit claims.
Further, the complaint states that Martinez slept at the Marriott Beachside Hotel on Election Night, not at 1100 Truman Ave. The Beachside Hotel is not in District 3, but rather District 1, the lawsuit states.
“Carruthers files this action as a post-election contest to disqualify Martinez and challenge his eligibility to serve as Monroe County Commissioner District 3,” the lawsuit states.