Gov. Charlie Crist’s lawyers will head to court next week to argue that a lawsuit demanding he refund $7.5 million in donations be dismissed.
Attorneys for Crist and The Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Campaign also asked Senior Collier Circuit Judge Jack Schoonover to issue a protective order to prevent depositions set for today, including Crist’s, from moving forward.
“Plaintiffs must recognize that they have sued a sitting governor ... and that the governor cannot be expected to be available for deposition at the drop of a hat,” says Crist’s motion, which was filed Tuesday.
Schoonover will hear the motions on Sept. 14.
The motions are the latest in a lawsuit filed by Linda Morton, a Lely mother of four, and John Rood of Jacksonville, a retired U.S. ambassador, who are seeking refunds on behalf of Republican contributors to Crist’s campaign before he announced April 29 he wouldn’t run as a Republican.
On Aug. 30, their attorneys — Rep. Tom Grady, R-Naples, who resigned from Crist’s campaign, and David David Shiner — lost a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent Crist from using those donations.
The judge said he’d consider that motion again if the lawsuit is certified as a class-action claim. On Friday, they filed a motion asking to certify the plaintiffs as a class representing about 2,000 Republican donors .
The motion to dismiss filed by Scott Weinstein, J. Andrew Meyer and Rachel Soffin cites various legal deficiencies in the lawsuit, including that the injuries the plaintiffs complain of, including disappointment Crist isn’t running as a Republican, aren’t recognized under the law.
Noting that Crist already filed a motion to dismiss in federal court, Grady said: “Crist is not allowed to file serial motions and we will point out to the court that the sole reason for his ‘new’ motion is to delay the trial.”