Court rules in Ethics Naples favor - orders a vote

Today the Second District Appellate Court ruled against the City of Naples in its attempt to deny Naples citizens their right to vote on a stronger ethics code. The City Council lawsuit was dismissed by the Court in its 3-0 decision and City Council was once again ordered to place the matter on the ballot.

Ethics Naples is a grassroots organization of Naples residents who support a stronger ethics policy for the City. Fifteen hundred Naples voters signed the referendum petition which was then certified by the County Supervisor of Elections as meeting all State requirements for being placed on the ballot.

However, instead of following the law, City Council refused to place the matter on the ballot and sued Ethics Naples. Over the next 18 months City Council lost in Circuit Court, appealed their loss and then lost again today in the Second District Appellate Court. During this attack on voters’ rights, the City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to try and stop a campaign for an improved ethics policy.

John Lehmann, Vice President of Ethics Naples noted that “We are delighted that the Courts have once again found in favor of Ethics Naples and the voters of Naples. It’s a shame that City Council spent so much time and money trying to deny Naples residents the chance to make up their own minds about ethics. We look forward to a campaign on the merits and the chance for everyone to vote on this issue.”

Read the decision here.


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