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Date of Issue: September 03, 2010

Hearing Friday on election stay

Anna Maria Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus will have another day in court at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 3, when Judge Edward Nicholas hears his motion for a stay of the court-ordered Sept. 7 recall election.

Stoltzfus filed an emergency motion Monday with Manatee County Circuit Court asking for an expedited hearing to stay the special election that will both give Anna Maria voters an option to recall or retain him as commissioner, and to elect him or Gene Aubry to fill the remainder of the term if the recall passes.

Stoltzfus wants a stay of the election pending a hearing by the Second District Court of Appeal on his appeal of Nicholas’ Aug. 24 ruling that the recall petition was legally sufficient. The recall election was ordered for Sept. 7 by 12th Circuit Court Chief Judge Lee Haworth.

Stoltzfus filed a motion to dismiss the recall soon after the Recall Commissioner Stoltzfus Committee submitted its petition requesting a recall of the commissioner.

Stoltzfus’ attorney, Richard Harrison, argued in his request to delay the Sept. 7 election that a stay “is required … to preserve the status quo to the extent necessary to permit Stoltzfus to obtain the meaningful appellate review to which he is entitled.”

The appeal court received Stoltzfus’ request Aug. 27, but has not set a hearing date.