The lawsuit filed in September by District 4 county commission candidate Jackie Espinosa, who made the complaint that fellow candidate Carlos Irizarry was bribed to run in order to help incumbent Cheryl Grieb win the election in August, was dismissed by Chief Judge Lisa Munyon.

Espinosa filed a lawsuit on September 9 making the claim that Irizarry was paid to run in the primary race to pull Hispanic votes away from her so incumbent Cheryl Grieb would retain her commission seat.

Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit for Orange and Osceola Counties Lisa Munyon ruled that Irizarry lived inside district 2, therefore he was not an “elector,” or voter, in the district 4 race, and that Florida law only allows an election to be overturned due to a bribe to an “elector, election official, or canvassing board member.”

Judge Munyon went on to say in the decision that “the complaint makes no factual allegations that an election official or canvassing board member was given or offered a bribe or reward.”

“I’m glad to have this unnecessary lawsuit dismissed by the Chief Judge. It is a shame that individuals are clogging our court system with unsubstantiated lawsuits that cost our Osceola County taxpayers to defend,” commissioner Grieb shared after the decision.

Motions to dismiss filed by the Osceola Canvassing Board and Irizarry were granted with prejudice, which means Espinosa cannot refile her complaint, but she was able to file an appeal, and has already done so  with the Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Cheryl Grieb won with 48% of the vote  in the August 23 election. Espinosa’s received 39% and Irizarry ended up with 13%. Osceola County commission races can be won with a plurality of votes, meaning candidates can win without gaining 50% of the vote.