Scandal follows former DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz wherever she goes. It turns out that her involvement in “rigging” the Democratic primaries for her girl, Hillary Clinton, may not have been her only act of wrongdoing in the 2016 election season.
Wasserman Schultz herself had an election to win that year, and she even had to overcome a primary challenge from Tim Canova. Though she won that election handily, Canova was convinced that there was something fishy about the results. Last year, he filed to see the paper ballots from the election. Election officials did not comply. Later, Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes said they would be happy to meet his demands; he would just have to fork over a measly $72,000 to pay for the production of the requested records.
Canova sued…and at some time after his lawsuit was filed, Snipes took the extraordinary step of actually destroying the very ballots he was requesting.
This is what we learned from a Florida Circuit Court hearing this week, where Judge Raag Singhal condemned Snipes and her office of violating the law by destroying ballots. Singhal said that the law requires that ballots be kept for a period no shorter than 22 months; Snipes destroyed them in just 12. Singhal said that Snipes was further in error because of the lawsuit requesting the ballots. Once that suit was filed, he said, only a court order should have allowed for the destruction of the ballots.
Snipes, the Judge said, “has not presented any evidence refuting that the public records sought were destroyed while this case was pending before the court.”
Instead of presenting that evidence, Snipes relied on an excuse – she didn’t intentionally destroy the ballots; they were simply in boxes marked incorrectly. Those boxes were put out with the trash by mistake.
The judge said it didn’t really matter one way or the other.
“Defendant’s lack of intent to destroy evidence while this case was pending is irrelevant,” he concluded.
As for Canova, whose lawsuit triggered the destruction of the ballots, he thinks there’s one clear path forward as it pertains to Snipes’ job.
“I think dismissal is an appropriate remedy,” Canova said.
He is challenging Wasserman Schultz as an independent candidate this year. Win or lose, we predict he’ll at least have a better shot at a fair election.