District 10 Resident files petition against Freeman’s appointment to City Council
A Jacksonville resident is challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to replace suspended City Council member Reginald Brown with Terrance Freeman, a Republican who until Tuesday lived in another district.
District 10 resident Brenda Priestly Jackson, the area Freeman now represents, filed the petition Friday in the 4th Judicial Circuit.
Jacksonville law firm Terrell Hogan Yegelwel is representing Jackson, who also applied to represent the district.
Scott suspended Reginald Brown and District 8 representative Katrina Brown on June 1 after they were charged in a 38-count federal fraud indictment.
As governor, Scott has sole authority to suspend public officials and fill their seats temporarily.
On Tuesday, Scott selected Freeman and Ju’Coby Pittman, a Democrat, to fill the spots. They were sworn in Thursday.
The petition seeks declaratory relief against Scott, saying the appointment of Freeman was unlawful, and injunctive relief against Freeman from taking any action as a member of council.
The petition claims that during the first week applications were being accepted, the state website required potential candidates to certify they were residents of the district.
“For some unexplained reason,” the petition states, “on or about the second week that the online application was available, the process for online application for appointment was changed to remove requiring that applicants first certify their status as a Jacksonville City Council District 10 resident.”
The petition also asserts that Freeman immediately assumed the duties upon Scott’s official announcement at 10:19 a.m. July 10, a status challenged by the Office of General Counsel which contends his appointment begins the date he is sworn in.
Freeman confirmed to Action News Jax that as of Tuesday he is renting two rooms in a home in the southern part of District 10, and maintains he meets all requirements to hold the seat.
As of Friday, the governor had not been served.