Judge denies village’s motion to dismiss GO bond lawsuit

In procedural hearing on Tuesday, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Samantha Ruiz Cohen denied a motion by the village to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the validity of the November referendum of the village’s use of $100 million general obligation bonds.

The suit was filed by Gustavo Tellez, a Key Biscayne resident who is represented by attorney David Winker. The village was represented at the hearing by attorneys Joe Serota and Charles M. Garabedian of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L.

With the judge’s decision, the village now has 20 days to respond to Tellez’s complaint.

In an email to Islander News, Winker said the village’s process in pushing through the referendum “was rushed, during the middle of a global pandemic.”

Winker also said the village “failed to comply with the express provisions of the Village Charter and Florida law by failing to outline how the money would be used.”

Mayor Michael Davey said he was “disappointed” the village’s motion to dismiss was denied, but he remains confident the village will prevail. “I would have much preferred the motion to dismiss would have been granted so we do not have to spend more time on this issue. We will move on to seek a summary judgement motion.”

Davey added he just wants everyone focused on getting things done for the betterment of the island.

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