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Miami-Dade property appraiser drops lawsuit filed by predecessor Carlos Lopez-Cantera


Property Appraiser Lazaro Solis has dropped a lawsuit against Miami-Dade filed by his predecessor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, over the powers of his county office.

Lopez-Cantera asked the Miami-Dade Circuit Court in August to rule on how much control, if any, the county mayor and commission has over the elected property appraiser. Judge Jose M. Rodriguez has yet to decide the case.

In January, Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointed Lopez-Cantera his lieutenant governor. Solis, Lopez-Cantera's deputy, assumed the property appraiser office on an interim basis.

That prompted the county to file a new motion to dismiss the case, noting the lawsuit -- now in Solis' hands -- was challenging the very law that put Solis in power. Solis responded Thursday with a motion for voluntary dismissal.

Solis said he feared a ruling upholding the county's argument that he didn't have legal standing would sway the judge or diminish the strength of an eventual ruling.

"I believe in the merits of the case," he said. "However, I was caught in a technicality."

When a new property appraiser is elected this fall, he or she could turn to the courts again. Commissioner Esteban "Steve" Bovo tried to get voters to clarify the property appraiser's powers with a ballot question, but his colleagues defeated the measure on the dais.

This post has been updated to clarify Solis' position.