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Riviera Beach Councilwoman Lynne Hubbard in court over campaign finance concerns

Posted at 8:11 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 20:11:47-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.  — Riviera Beach Councilwoman Lynne Hubbard was in court Friday over issues relating to her campaign finances.

Judge Lisa Small set an emergency hearing for the lawsuit by Tradrick McCoy, running against Hubbard in the March election.

McCoy’s lawsuit alleges Hubbard took illegal campaign contributions and should be disqualified.

The lawsuit points to Hubbard’s campaign finance report where she stated she accepted $1000 and $500 in cash contributions.

That is above the $50 cash contribution limit set by Florida statute.

In addition, McCoy argues, Hubbard paid her filing fee with a check from Wells Fargo, when her campaign bank account is with TD Bank.

“That is the very need of new leadership in Riviera Beach because you can’t break the law as Ms. Hubbard did in this case and expect that you should represent the public,” McCoy told Contact 5 after the hearing.

The biggest issue in Friday’s hearing was if the court is the proper jurisdiction.

Hubbard’s attorney argued McCoy should have filed a complaint with the Florida Elections Committee instead.

Hubbard did not answer Contact 5’s questions after the hearing, instead her attorney responded.

Reporter: “Can you tell me if tell me if you did accept cash in the amount of $1000 and $500?”

Hubbard’s attorney: “We don’t have anything to say other then we’re going to wait on the judge’s ruling on Tuesday.”

Reporter: “So you did, the candidate did everything by the book?”

Hubbard’s attorney: “Yes and we’re going to wait on the judge’s ruling on Tuesday.”

According to Hubbard’s campaign finance report on the city’s website, she accepted the cash in November.

The lawsuit also named the city and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher as defendants.

Bucher's attorney argued Bucher does not directly oversee the filing for municipal governments and therefore she shouldn't be part of the lawsuit.

In December she said that accepting the cash was an “error” and returned the money.

Hubbard was one of three council members (along with Dawn Pardo and Terence Davis) who unexpectedly voted to fire the former city manager Jonathan Evans without any explanation in September 2017, sending the city into turmoil.

Pardo lost her seat on the council during the March 2018 election.

Davis is also up for re-election in March.

The judge will rule Tuesday morning.