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Laquidara

Council rejects resolution calling for Laquidara to leave office

By David Chapman, Staff Writer

A resolution calling for General Counsel Cindy Laquidara to resign or remove her from her position was soundly defeated Tuesday by City Council.

The vote was 15-1, with council member Matt Schellenberg, the measure’s sponsor, the lone approval.

It was introduced last June and cites Laquidara “has failed to adequately represent or provide representation of the City Government as a whole and City Council in particular.”

Examples given included a default letter given to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, advice to Mayor Alvin Brown that he could accept privately paid travel and advice to council about the procurement code.

In addition, it alleges she has given “patently bad advice” to council and “conducted herself … more as a spokesperson for the Mayor” instead of acting independently.

Laquidara has served as general counsel since mid-2010 after being selected by former Mayor John Peyton to succeed Rick Mullaney. She was reappointed to the role before Brown took office in mid-2011 and her service was extended thereafter.

A Circuit Court judge recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County, saying the legal argument used was improper.

Other action from Tuesday’s council meeting:

•The JEA relocated new electric poles on sidewalks along Stockton Street in council member Warren Jones’ district. In response, he filed a resolution asking the authority to move them off the sidewalk. It was introduced as an emergency Tuesday and opened the floor for others to criticize JEA’s decision. “We are all frustrated by this action,” said council member Lori Boyer, shortly after council member Bill Bishop called the move “egregious” and “callous,” disregarding pedestrian access. The entire council then sponsored the resolution before they passed it as an emergency.

• A resolution supporting a fourth local bill, also called a J-Bill, was filed and placed on a two-week turnaround for approval. The latest request to Tallahassee asks for support of creating a Duval County Library District and a governing board that could levy an additional property tax and issue bonds, all in support of the library.

dchapman@baileypub.com

@writerchapman

(904) 356-2466

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