A Broward Circuit Court judge dismissed the city of Hollywood’s case alleging the Broward Police Benevolent Association had violated election campaign finance requirements.
According to Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Storey, the case was dismissed “on a technicality,” dealing with the summons and the timing.
“We believe that there are significant legal issues with this that we will be appealing to the circuit court,” Storey said.
The summons was already quashed once before, in January, also because of a technicality. The city then refiled.
The issue erupted because of last November’s city commission elections. Signs popped up against incumbent Commissioner Heidi O’Sheehan. The signs indicated they were paid for by a political action committee.
According to Hollywood regulations, any group participating in a local election must file campaign finance reports with the city.
But the organization behind the signs, the Police Benevolent Association’s Voice of Law Enforcement Fund, didn’t file anything with the city.
However the fund is listed as an Electioneering Communications Organization (ECO) with the state, and according to a letter written by the secretary of state, ECO’s are allowed to participate in local elections, said PBA President Jeff Marano.
“The way we did it is consistent with state law,” Marano said. “We did nothing wrong.”
Although the case was dismissed, Storey said it doesn’t mean the city doesn’t still have a case against the police union.
“There has been no ruling on the merit of the alleged violation of the city’s election code,” Storey said.