Testimony underway in Charlie Wilson eligibility case

VERO BEACH — Testimony has been going on for more than an hour and-a-half this afternoon in the eligibility case against Vero Beach City Councilman Charlie Wilson, with the plaintiff’s attorney saying the defendant is not a resident of the city even after winning the election.

The plaintiff, represented by attorney Buck Vocelle, is putting on their side of the case, arguing Wilson is still not a resident of the City of Vero Beach — that he is remains living at his condo on 6th Avenue in Indian River County.

The argument came with objections from Wilson’s attorney, Charles Sullivan Sr., who said that he was not aware until minutes before the hearing began that Wilson’s current place of residence was in question.At issue in the case is if Wilson was a resident of Vero Beach as required by the City Charter to run for the Council seat he won with the most votes of any candidate last month. Wilson claims the language of the charter is vague and that he met the eligibility requirement of having been a city resident for a year.Plaintiff Dian George filed a complaint, contending that Wilson did not live in the city for the year prior to running for office and thus should be disqualified.

Over the course of the last 90 minutes of testimony, Sullivan has continuously raised objections. Judge Paul Kanarek has overruled nearly all of them.

The judge is not expected to make a ruling in the case until a later date, after having time to review all the evidence.

Councilman Brian Heady and former councilwoman Debra Fromang, along with several interested citizens and former mayors were in attendance.

This article will be updated as the hearing progresses.

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