Gainesville city commissioner candidate Jim Konish filed a lawsuit Monday against opponent Adrian Hayes-Santos, challenging his eligibility for the commissioner seat.
Konish said Hayes-Santos fails to meet the residency requirement to run for the city commission District 4 seat. The two candidates will face each other in the presidential primary and Gainesville city election next Tuesday, March 15.
Candidates must be a resident of the district for at least six months to qualify for elections, according to the Alachua County supervisor of elections.
“We have eyewitness testimony that neither this person or his automobile was seen at the residence that he claims he resides now in district four until some time in December 2015,” said Stephen Stanfield, the attorney for Jim Konish’s campaign.
The campaign said they sent a letter to Hayes-Santos in February. The letter listed the evidence against Hayes-Santos and asked him to withdraw from the race.
But, Konish said, Hayes-Santos did not reply.
“I am very disappointed that he wouldn’t acknowledge the letter we sent him and make it right,” Konish said. “It’s just a shame that we are going to have to go to court and uncover the truth.”
Hayes-Santos said this is a political move by Konish, showing letters of sublease agreements that he says prove the legitimacy of his residency in Gainesville. In the letter, Hayes-Santos wrote that he sublet his previous residence for the summer of 2015.
He said he has been renting a room from Zackary Woodruff since May 25, 2015. Woodruff lives in a house at 1125 NE 5th Ave. Hayes-Santos also provided a copy of a U-Haul rental receipt for a truck that was rented and returned May 25, 2015, the day he moved in.
“These are just cheap political tricks he’s trying to play at the last moment to try to deceive voters,” Hayes-Santos said.