Friday, May 24

Riviera Beach councilwoman’s legal Hail Mary falls short

The Florida Supreme Court effectively ended Riviera Beach councilwoman Julia Botels 11th hour effort to be on the ballot for the March 19 city election.

Earlier this month, the Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled Botel could not be on the ballot because she paid her filing fee with a cashiers check, and by law, should have paid with a check from her campaign.

Botel went to the high court in an attempt to overturn the appeals court ruling.

On Friday, the Supreme Court denied to hear Botels case, effectively ending any chance of her reelection.

Dr. Botel has been a Riviera Beach councilwoman for the past six years and has proven to be one of the citys top vote getters.

But her tenure has, at times, been marred by controversy, most notably in 2021, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis censured her after the State Ethics Commission reported she solicited donations to her charity from vendors who did business with the city.

For the upcoming election, Botels name will remain on the ballot, but any votes for her will not be tabulated, according to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Her ineligibility leaves her challenger, Glen Spiritus, running unopposed in representing Singer Island.

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