Ocala City Council decides to not seat Tyrone Oliver

Published: Dec. 3, 2019 at 6:43 PM EST
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UPDATE 10pm:

He will not serve on the Ocala City Council.

The winner of November's run-off election Tyrone Oliver was blocked Tuesday night from taking a seat on the council, due to 30-year-old felony drug charges.

It was a full house at the Ocala City Council meeting, as council members discussed what to do with Councilman-elect Tyrone Oliver and his eligibility to serve.

The discussion was lead by the City's Attorney Patrick Gilligan, who advised the council not to swear in Oliver, due to two felony drug charges filed against Oliver in 1986.

"I think more accurately it would be to not seat based on the information that you have now,” said Ocala City Attorney, Patrick Gillian.

Councilman Matt Wardell introduced the motion to not seat Oliver, and several who spoke during public comment agreed with that decision.

"It appears that our city charter says that the term begins today and if he's not seated and can't be seated then there's a vacancy and the charter is quite clear that means you fill a vacancy with a special election and I think that's what needs to be done,” said Ocala resident, Brian Creekbaum.

Now the council has two options, the mayor can make a proclamation for vacancy and call for a special election, which would cost roughly 50,000 dollars, or the city attorney can create a resolution for the council to vote on at their next meeting.

Oliver said he just wants things resolved.

"I'm tired of the whole mess. They told me I qualify that's why I ran. I'm not trying to hide anything. I made sure everybody knew that,” Oliver said.

The state clemency board is scheduled to meet Wednesday but city officials said that there are more than a thousand applications pending and it's unknown whether or not they will have time to address Oliver's application.

The board meets quarterly and after Wednesday's gathering, they will not met again until March.



The Ocala City Council voted unanimously to not seat Tyrone Oliver due to a previous felony.

Oliver won a runoff election for the city's 2nd district in November, however, due to a more than 30-year-old drug-related felony, they voted to follow the the state constitution, which says felons may not serve elected office.

The next step for the city is to either have Mayor Kent Guinn make a proclamation for a special election to fill the open seat or the City Council will vote as a whole on a resolution. The options will be discussed at a later date.

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