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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

DECEMBER 12, 2012

IT’S POPCORN TIME
WILL THE COMMISSION AGREE TO PAY FOR REGALADO’S DEFENSE
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Last week, when the news broke about the Spence-Jones lawsuit against the State Attorney and the Mayor I wrote that you could expect to see Regalado go before the Commission to try to get them to pay for his defense.


At the Commission meeting tomorrow, Regalado has put a Discussion item on the agenda  to do just that.

Under different circumstances, the Commission would probably agree to cover Regalado’s expenses, but these are not normal circumstances. Regalado is asking for money to defend himself against a lawsuit filed against him by a City Commissioner who is accusing him of engaging in series of Organized Racketeering and Corrupt activities.


Even for Miami, that’s a first.


While anything is possible - it is Miami after all - there is some reason to believe that a vote could end up denying Regalado taxpayer money for his defense.


EVERYBODY COULD END UP NEEDING A LAWYER


Perhaps the most alarming thing for the taxpayers is that if Regalado were to get approval for the taxpayers to pay for his legal defense, then you could see everybody associated with this case lawyering up at the taxpayers expense.


City Attorney Julie Bru, who has been deeply implicated in some of the scheming cited in the lawsuit moved last week to distance herself from any future involvement by submitting the following Memorandum to the Mayor and City Commission.

Besides Regalado and Bru, if the Commission were to support Regalado request you would soon see the lawyer inside the City Attorney’s Office who was Spence-Jones’ mole, and the unnamed City Commissioner involved in the November 14-15, 2010 City Hall meeting with Regalado and Bru also showing up looking for the taxpayers to pay for their lawyers too.


And because cases like this always have surprises, there is every reason to suspect that there might be one or two others within City government who could surface before trial, also demanding legal representation.


All in all, this could wind up costing the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THURSDAY


The first of several things to watch for is whether Spence-Jones decides to recuse herself, given that she’s the Plaintiff in the lawsuit.  By rights, this should be a no-brainer.  As the Plaintiff, she has a glaring conflict in discussing and voting on whether the person she is suing can use public money to defend himself against her lawsuit.


She could get cute and announce that she has a prior engagement and just walk out before the item is heard, thereby evading the issue, but either way, if Spence-Jones removes herself, the odds increase for a deadlock against approval.


Commissioners Suarez and Sarnoff have no reason to make things easy for Regalado, and forcing him to create a Legal Defense Fund and go out and beg for money not only poses a financial problem when he’s also having to raise money for reelection, but also increases the visibility of the lawsuit as a campaign issue.


This becomes critical if a third person - either Joe Carollo or Alex de la Portilla - throws their hat into the ring.  Any other candidate could beat both Regalado and Suarez over the head on this issue - Regalado for being a slime in cahoots with Fernendez-Rundle, and Suarez for voting to let the taxpayers bear the costs for defending Regalado - and have great fun doing so.


This leaves both Gort and Carollo, and if they were to vote to support Regalado, and Sarnoff and Suarez were to vote against that would result in a tie, and the request would die for lack of a majority vote.


Of course, this is all speculation, because like I said, this is Miami, and in the land of the corrup, the most critical person to keep an eye on is none other than the most corrupt of the City Commissioners; Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff.


Sarnoff is about as scheming and double-dealing a weasel that has slithered through the doors of City Hall in my life time, so he might at the end of the day hedge his bet on Suarez, and support Regalado’s request, just as a show of professional courtesy from one corrupt politician to another, and also because if he is the unnamed Commissioner who met with Regalado and Bru on November 14th -15th, then he’ll definitely want the taxpayers to pay his legal bills.


This item is scheduled as one of the last items on the agenda, so make sure to go out and buy a bag of microwave popcorn on the way home from work on Thursday.  In fact, buy a multi-pack, because there are going to be a few popcorn moments coming up during Commission meetings in 2013 - providing of course the Mayans were wrong.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

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