The legal case for ousting Jim Greer
Jim Greer has declared (and more than a few people agree with him) that there is no mechanism for rescinding his chairmanship or ousting him from the helm of the Florida GOP. Leaders of the RPOF's own Bolshevik rebellion disagree. Here's their letter to Jason Gonzalez, the party's general counsel:
December 28, 2009
Re: RPOF Letter, Greer, 12-22-2009
The Request for Special Meeting as properly called in accordance with RPOF Constitution, Article IX, Section 2, has been acknowledged and verified in the letter dated December 22, 2009 by Chairman Jim Greer. The purpose of the meeting, i.e. “to submit by secret ballot the question of rescission on the January, 9, 2009 election of Jim Greer as Chairman, RPOF”, is also acknowledged, but action upon the purpose is being denied for reasons cited which are not supported by the arguments stated.
The right to call a Special Meeting is clearly stated by Constitution, and has been so stipulated by Chairman Greer for Saturday, January 9, 2009, at 9:00a. Therefore, no further comment is required.
The RPOF Constitution, Article XI, Parliamentary Authority, clearly states that for any issues which are not specifically addressed by the Constitution or Rules, then Robert’s Rules Of Order, Newly Revised,(RRO) “are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Constitution of the State Committee.” Therefore, the Constitutional recognition of Robert’s Rules of Order renders RRO as the appropriate authority for addressing the stated purpose of the approved Special Meeting.
In that there is no provision in the RPOF Constitution or Rules which specifically addresses procedures for an action to rescind an election of an officer, or removal through disciplinary actions, an officer from office, then, by stipulation of the Constitution, Article XI, (Parliamentary Authority), the stated purpose of the called Special Meeting of disciplining the Chairman through a secret ballot to rescind the Chairman’s election is addressed explicitly in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. Chapter XX, Disciplinary Procedures, Section 61, Remedies Against Misconduct or Dereliction of Duty in Office, pp.642-643, states:
“Except as the bylaws may provide otherwise, any regularly elected officer of a permanent society can be deposed from office for cause- that is, misconduct or neglect of duty in office as follows:
If, however, the bylaws provide that officers shall serve only a fixed term, such as “for two years,…” an officer can be deposed from office by following the procedures for dealing with offenses outside a meeting; that is, an investigating committee must be appointed, it must prefer charges, and a formal trial must be held.”
The RPOF Constitution, Article IV, Section 3, states “All officers of the State Committee and Congressional District Chairmen “shall be elected to a term of office of two (2) years”.
The procedures to be complied with as cited in Robert’s Rules of Order in conducting this called Special Meeting are clear, and require the following actions:
(RRO, Chapter XV, Section 47, p. 436)Whenever a motion is made that refers only to the presiding officer in a capacity not shared in common with other members, or that commends or censures him with others, he should turn the chair over to the vice chairman or appropriate temporary occupant (see below) during the assembly’s consideration of that motion…………(1) the vice chairman normally should take the chair unless he also, because of involvement in the debate or for any other reason, should disqualify himself from presiding in the particular case………
……(2) the chairman can appoint a temporary chairman, subject to the approval of the assembly …..p.382-383 (and who is assumed to receive the assembly’s approval by unanimous consent unless member(s) the nominate other person(s), in which case the presiding officer’s choice is also treated as a nominee and the matter is decided by vote).
We would be willing to stipulate to the appointment of a mutually acceptable, objective temporary chairman, subject to affirmation by the State Committee. While other nominees could arise, we believe the State Committee should be favorably disposed to accept a temporary Chair who would be fair and impartial, and whom was acceptable to both parties.
Due to the extensive media attention already given to all aspects of the Chairman’s role in the RPOF, and recognizing the high visibility of the Chairman’s arguments and protestations of all criticism, the need for an “investigative committee” would appear superfluous and unnecessary at this point. The central question is simply, what is the will of the State Committee, as determined by secret ballot, on whether or not a rescission of the Chairman’s election shall be affirmed.
The best interests of the RPOF and all parties affected is best served by a mutual stipulation of WAIVER of the investigation committee process (p.632), and instead proceed with the presentation of defense and rebuttal arguments, closing arguments and proceed to a secret ballot of the question (p.638-640).
Notwithstanding the above, Florida Statutes supersede any provisions of the RPOF Constitution and Rules. The State of Florida governs political parties as mandated by Florida Statutes, aforesaid statute sets forth the procedure for declaring the chairman’s appointment void as requiring removal by tribunal FS 103.131(7). By law, the chairman can be removed. The Special Meeting of the full State Committee serves as the statutorily required tribunal.
Unless the Chairman should choose for personal reasons to tender his resignation prior to the Special Meeting, the above stated procedures shall be deemed in effect for the Special Meeting, and all involved should conduct themselves accordingly.
[signed by and on behalf of the following]
Allen Cox, Vice Chairman, RPOF, SCM, Gulf County
Allison Defoor, SCM, Wakulla County
Gary Lee, Chairman, Lee County
Peter Feaman, SCM, Palm Beach County
Bob Starr, Chairman, Charlotte County