Rob Wallace: 'Jumping John Legg' has more explaining to do about residency issues
Give state senate candidate Rob Wallace credit for scrappiness.
He’s staying on Senate District 17 front-runner John Legg just days after the Florida Commission on Ethics declined to act on his complaint Legg.
Wallace had argued in the complaint that Legg made a premature move to his wife’s home in Trinity, which is in the senate district, while he’s supposed to be living in west Pasco, the district he currently represents in the House. Legg has also changed his voting records and driver's license to his wife's Trinity home.
The Ethics Commission said that residency issue is out of its jurisdiction. Wallace, who has called on Legg to resign from the House, said he doesn't think the elections commission would have been the proper venue for his complaint.
Legg has explained his situation this way in previous statements: “My wife and I have two houses, one is in my current House District and the other is in the Senate District for which I am running. I have begun preparations to be in the Senate District by Election Day as Florida Statutes require, and I have been advised by the House General Council that those preparations are fine and there is no obligation for me to resign.”
In a news release Wednesday, Wallace offered the following critique of that statement:
1.) John Legg's theory of two residences is at the heart of his misconduct on residency compliance per The Constitution of the State of Florida Article III Section 15(c) which states:
"Each legislator shall be at least twenty-one years of age, an elector and resident of the district from which elected and shall have resided in the state for a period of two years prior to election.”
2.) Legg states "I have begun preparations to be in the Senate District by election day as Florida Statutes require."
I've got news for John Legg. When you tell the Department of Motor Vehicles and other Government Agencies on official documents you reside at a specific location you have not begun preparations, you have arrived. It is a completed act, You have moved!
3.) There is no Duty to be in the Senate District for which Legg is running for by Election Day. If John Legg wins the Primary and subsequently wins the General Election then on the day after being Elected to that District he would have a duty to reside within Senate District 17. Very speculative to be moving just now. At this time Representative John Legg has a Constitutional Duty to reside within District 46 with his Constituents.
4.) He has been "advised by the House General Council that those preparations are fine and there is no obligation for me to resign."
Could "House General Council" expand upon this statement? No Attorney, No opinion, No statement can override the Florida Constitution.
5.) All John Legg had to do was stay in the Woodcrest house within House District 46 until November 7 and then if he were elected take his toothbrush and pillow and move down to the Palladio House.
6.) Why does John Legg need more than 5 months (May 29, 2012 to November 7, 2012) to move 10 miles? Most people could make that move in one afternoon.
7.) John Legg insists he is the State Representative for District 46 though he has clearly abandoned his House District and Constituents. If elected to Senate District 17 where might he decide to move? Weeki Wachee or perhaps Tallahassee he seems to have a lot of friends there.
8.) John Legg continues to collect a State Legislator's Pay, Health Benefits, Life Insurance, Retirement Benefits, etc. without fulfilling his Duty to reside within the District for which he was elected to represent. It is like getting paid even though you don't show up for work.
It is apparent to all John Legg has lived outside District 46 for some time now. The Tampa Bay Times reported back in September of 2008 that State Rep. Legg blurs the line on residency. From that campaign to this campaign nothing has changed. Jumping John Legg has been dodging and skipping around the truth for close to 5 years now. How long does it take to resolve his residency? If awards for Political Scofflaw were given out , John Legg would get a Gold Medal.
-- Jodie Tillman