Judge rejects DeSantis administration’s bid to toss lawsuit over migrant flights

January 15, 2023

Cooper rejected attempts by DeSantis’ lawyers to dismiss the case, although he did agree to release Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis as a defendant. State transaction records show that Vertol was paid in advance for both projects, including the flights that were never completed. Patronis’ lawyer, Ty Jackson of the GrayRobinson law firm, argued that the CFO had no role in deciding how to spend state funds. That was 15 days after the governor signed the budget and Section 185, the provision that included the $12 million in relocation funds. Cooper noted that before DeSantis could say he was relocating migrants out of Florida, he had to pay to fly them in.