Tamarac Commissioner Patricia Atkins-Grad's Motion to Stop Recall Denied by Judge

A judge refused Tamarac Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad's motion to halt a recall that would boot her out of office.

In 2010, "Positively Patte" Atkins-Grad was arrested and charged with bribery, official misconduct, receiving unlawful compensation, and conspiring to commit unlawful compensation after she threw herself one helluvan election victory party.

Back in December, a jury found her not guilty on all counts. But that didn't stop a recall committee's door-to-door campaign of gathering signatures to have her removed from office.

The recall team, which is self-funded, is on their second try at ousting Atkins-Grad, after she refused to step down.

This is the group's second try at a recall and, as the they put it, their volunteers are committed to making sure Atkins-Grad is recalled from office.

Broward County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gates sat before a hearing on June 27. Atkins-Grad's attorney, Stuart Michelson, argued that his client's professional rep would take the kind of hit that's tough to come back from, if this recall were to go through.

Michelson argued that the recall team's used the same petition for the second go-round, as they did the first -- which fell 18 signatures short. But Judge Gates said that this argument wasn't such a hot idea, since nothing in the Florida Statutes can lawfully keep a group that failed to get a recall due to lack of signatures to try it again, the same exact way.

So, motion to stop the recall was denied.

"This is great news and it recharges our efforts," says Recall Volunteer and Woodlands Country Club Resident Michael Delemma who attended the hearing in June. "Patte was just telling everyone how she was going to be our commissioner until November 2014 whether we liked it or not."

The group has until July 21 to collect about 1,800 John Hancocks to get a special election to select a new commish going.

A successful recall has never been achieved in Broward County.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph