Florida CFO Patronis takes aim at migrant flights lawsuit

TALLAHASSEE – The state’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is urging a Leon County circuit choose to dismiss claims in opposition to him in a lawsuit that challenges Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial resolution to fly migrants from Texas to Massachusetts.

Sen. Jason Pizzo filed the lawsuit final month, alleging violations of the state Constitution and a separate legislation.

The case named Patronis as a defendant, together with DeSantis, the Florida Department of Transportation, and Department of Transportation Secretary Jared Perdue. But in a movement filed Monday, Patronis’ lawyer, D. Ty Jackson, argued that the chief monetary officer shouldn’t be a defendant within the case.

The lawsuit stems from DeSantis’ resolution to fly about 50 migrants, principally from Venezuela, to Martha’s Vineyard. Two flights with the migrants began in San Antonio, stopped at an airport within the northwest Florida group of Crestview, after which headed north to Massachusetts.

A piece of the state funds directed $12 million to the Department of Transportation “for implementing a program to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law.” The part additionally mentioned the “department may, upon the receipt of at least two quotes, negotiate and enter into contracts with private parties, including common carriers, to implement the program.”

Pizzo’s lawsuit cited a part of the Florida Constitution and mentioned “substantive” insurance policies are required to be accepted in separate legal guidelines, somewhat than by means of the funds. But within the movement to dismiss, Patronis’ lawyer wrote that the chief monetary officer “is not the official or agency of government charged with enforcement or implementation” of the a part of the funds concerned within the lawsuit.

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