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Governor files motion to dismiss McGraw’s petition

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Governor Ron DeSantis has filed a motion to dismiss a petition by former School Board Member Diyonne McGraw, which asked a judge to issue a Writ of Quo Warranto directing the governor to explain by what authority he issued the executive order that declared a vacancy in her school board seat, a determination that the order is an improper exercise of the governor’s power, and a declaration that the executive order is void.

McGraw’s petition was filed on June 22, 2021, and Judge Monica Brasington issued an Order to Respond on September 2, directing the governor to file a response within 30 days; that response was filed today in the form of a Motion to Dismiss. The Motion to Dismiss makes several arguments, but the basic argument is that McGraw never presented any evidence showing that she lives in District 2, and her failure to maintain (or ever establish) residency in her district was the reason that the governor declared a vacancy in her seat: “The Court must dismiss McGraw’s Petition for Writ of Quo Warranto as facially insufficient because it fails to include the most basic and fundamental factual allegation that her lawful residence was, in fact, in District 2 of the Alachua County School Board at the time the Governor declared the District 2 School Board seat vacant under Executive Order 21-147. Alternatively, the Court must deny the Petition on the merits because the Governor was legally required to declare the District 2 seat vacant pursuant to the plain language of article IV, section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution; article X, section 3 of the Florida Constitution; and sections 114.01(1)-(2) and 1001.34(1) of the Florida Statutes.”

According to Judge Brasington’s September 2 order, McGraw has 15 days to respond, if she chooses to do so.

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