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Florida extends contract with Vertol for migrant flights

Flights were initially planned to take off by Dec. 1, but an FDOT spokesperson says the contract has been extended.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The state has extended a contract with a Florida company contracted to fly migrants as part of the state's immigration relocation program.

The original deadline was Dec. 1. In an email to 10 Investigates, FDOT's deputy communications director Michael Williams says, "The contract with Vertol Systems has been extended to February 2023."

This comes as State Sen. Jason Pizzo filed an amended lawsuit earlier this week, suing the governor, FDOT and the state's CFO over using money allocated for the program to fly migrants from Texas, to Florida, to Martha's Vineyard earlier this year.

   The state has spent $1,565,000 on flights. Pizzo wants a judge to stop the state from flying migrants and says the funds for the state's immigration relocation program have been misused.

A judge dismissed Pizzo's original lawsuit back In November, but gave him time to amend it to explain more in detail how the law was broken.
Now he argues the administration violated both the state and federal constitution. And he included more than 100 pages worth of documents.
It's texts and emails gathered through public records requests showing how the plan was put in motion.

That new contract extension gives time to figure out whether that lawsuit will be heard in court. A Leon County judge will look at motions to dismiss it the second week of January.

Back in September, Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke during a news conference and said there were plans in place to move more migrants to "sanctuary cities" in light of what he calls the Biden administration's failed border policies.

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