GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County judge seeking re-election on May 29 is suing to keep her opponent’s name off the ballot on the grounds the opponent failed to submit the proper qualifying …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A Clay County judge seeking re-election on May 29 is suing to keep her opponent’s name off the ballot on the grounds the opponent failed to submit the proper qualifying documents on time.
Judge Kristina Mobley’s complaint filed May 29 against Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambless seeks to prevent Lucy Ann Hoover’s name from being on the ballot by asking that Chambless de-certify Hoover’s paperwork.
To qualify, a candidate must submit a check made from the candidate’s campaign account to cover the $4,554 filing fee. Candidates also submit a document showing they have taken a loyalty oath which includes their name, position they’re running for and their signature, proof they have appointed a campaign treasurer and document the campaign’s financial institution to be for deposits and withdrawals, and a public disclosure of financial interests. This year’s deadline to submit all qualifying paperwork was noon May 4.
Mobley qualified on time, but according to the motion, Hoover failed to do so.
“Defendant Hoover attempted to qualify as a candidate for the race, but failed to timely complete the statutory requirements to qualify,” states the motion.
The motion states Hoover failed to complete the candidate oath, the loyalty oath, the appointment of a campaign treasurer and a destination for campaign deposits, and a public disclosure of public funds, and failed to do so on time.
The complaint claims Hoover failed to tender a check from her campaign account to cover the qualifying fee as the check Hoover submitted was written on a bank not listed on her Designation of Campaign Depository Form – her campaign account.
Despite these alleged failures, Chambless allowed Hoover’s name to be listed as a qualified candidate for the race.
According to Clay County Supervisor of Elections website, Hoover’s candidate oath was received on May 4, at 12:04 p.m., four minutes after the deadline. Then, 21 minutes later, the document was revised and uploaded. Her appointment of treasurer and designation for campaign deposits was received at 11:11 a.m. on May 4, which is 49 minutes before deadline, but this document was then revised at 12:19 p.m. the same day, which is 19 minutes past deadline. This document was originally filed as an “Initial Filing of Form,” but was then filed again, on May 7, three days past the deadline, showing the official recognition of a campaign treasurer.
The check submitted by Hoover was written from an account at Vystar Credit Union and was submitted on May 4. At the time, Hoover’s listed bank for her campaign funds was Wells Fargo. Mobley’s motion states that since the check used to cover Hoover’s candidacy fee was from Vystar, when it should have been from Wells Fargo, Hoover failed to tender the check properly. Hoover’s revised the form detailing the destination of her campaign depository three days after the deadline. When it was revised, her bank was changed from Wells Fargo to Vystar.
At the press time, Hoover’s name still remains on the ballot listed as an eligible candidate. Court officials began taking depositions on June 5 and have set a hearing before Seventh Judicial Circuit Court Judge Howard Maltz on June 8.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed Mobley, 45, of Fleming Island, to the judgeship in July 2015 after she had worked as a judicial staff attorney since 2009 for the Fourth Judicial Circuit. Mobley received holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Florida and a law degree from the University of Florida.
Mobley filled the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Richard R. Townsend. This year’s election would mark the first time Mobley has had to run for re-election.
Hoover, a Middleburg resident and retired Federal Bureau of Investigation officer, is currently a visiting professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of North Florida.