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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

JANUARY 8, 2013

“ETHICS” GOT A LAWYER
SARNOFF WENT ALL THE WAY TO NEW YORK TO FIND A LAWYER TO COVER HIS AND REGALADO’S ASS
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At the last Commission meeting of 2012, ethically challenged Commissioner Sarnoff wasted no time in convincing the other 4 Dwarfs on the Commission that he was the best qualified Dwarf to go out and find a lawyer to advise them of how to deal with the RICO lawsuit filed against the Mayor and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.


For those who didn’t watch it, and even for those that did, here is the salient 1:16 minute portion of the Commission meeting where Sarnoff defines the reasons for why he needs to go out and find a lawyer to represent the City.

Putting aside all the other smoke screen issues that Sarnoff attempted to use to confuse and disguise the real issue, that is what bringing in an outside lawyer who will do what Sarnoff wants is all about.


This was one, if not the core reason why Regalado chose to go with Sarnoff as I detailed in my last story about the need for Spence-Jones and her attorneys to identify the unnamed City Commissioner was was part of the November 14-15, 2009 meeting with Regalado and Bru.


Regalado wants Quinon as his lawyer, and he wants the City to pay for him, regardless of the fact that Quinon will damn sure demand more than $200 an hour to defend “His Ignorance.”


And once that precedent has been set, then you’ll see Sarnoff and Bru both pile on with their own lawyer demands, and before you know it the city could be paying several thousand dollars an hour in the combined legal fees for all of these corrupt clowns.


As always, for the taxpayers of Miami this is a story about following the money.  Regalado is a moron, and there is very little reason to believe that he did not do all of the things, plus probably more things that have yet come to light that are alleged in the lawsuit.


Sarnoff’s history in 2007-2009 with Spence-Jones also points to the fact that he would have been more than willing to do what he could to see her removed from the City Commission, and Julie Bru’s whole career has been based on kissing ass to get to the position of City Attorney.


So since Sarnoff is a recognized snake that has demonstrated a long history of unethical and corrupt behavior, Bru who might have been cautious enough to try and skirt the obvious legal and criminal conflicts none the less would appear to have fallen short in the ethics department when it came to putting a stop to this conspiracy by going above Fernandez-Rundle’s head to either the FDLE, or to the Governor and Attorney General.


So, now they all need lawyers, and the conspiracy is in to pretend that the City doesn’t have guidelines and policy to deal with providing attorneys for employees, so that a new York lawyer can come in and ignore those policies and procedures to do the bidding of Regalado, Sarnoff and Bru.


And because this is Sarnoff, and he never passes an opportunity to milk a deal for all that it is worth, maybe Lois Lane over at the Miami Herald, when she isn’t Twittering about her fantasy Football team or playing at being a Junior Leaguer, might get off her ass and start using the Herald’s resources to do a real background on this New York lawyer to see if he’s connected in any way with any of Sarnoff’s other pals.


Sarnoff, like everyone else on the City Commission operates on the principle of Crony Capitalism, and there’s nothing more crony than hiring a lawyer in New York, whose connected to pals in Miami.



In an email sent on January 2nd, Sarnoff notified his fellow Dwarfs on the Commission, along with the Mayor, that he had indeed found a lawyer willing to assume the responsibilities of the City Attorney for the purposes of dealing with the legal issues surrounding the lawsuit filed by Commissioner Spence-Jones against the Mayor and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.


Here are the two memos, followed by a copy of the letter of acceptance from Richard J. Davis.  We’ll pick it up after the letter.

I have written on numerous times in the past that you really have to watch Commissioner “Ethics” when he starts throwing around legal terms and pretending that he’s the smartest guy in the room, because chances are he’s trying to pull a fast one.


What he did at the last Commission meeting was a classic example of Sarnoff trying to pull a rabbit out of his ass and claiming it was a Unicorn.


So, with so many issues to deal with, let’s start with the most obvious one.


SARNOFF’S CONFLICT OF INTEREST


I continue to harp about this because this is a really critical issue for the taxpayers of Miami.  I have now had it confirmed to me by a reliable source that Sarnoff was the unnamed Commissioner who attended the November 14-15, 2009 meeting with the Mayor and Julie Bru.


That means that Sarnoff is at the very least a witness in this case, and therefore has a conflict of interest.  For him to be the one to have been allowed to go out on his own and pick a lawyer to represent the city, and who will make the decision on who will be provided lawyers, who those lawyers will be, and the cost of all those lawyers is just about as crazy as it gets.


The problem is that no one on the City Commission has the legal skills, or more importantly the courage to step up and speak for the citizens on this issue.  As I wrote last month, all of these City Commissioners are conflicted, and none of them will stand up and say that this it legally and ethically wrong!


So that’s issue Number 1.


THE SELECTION PROCESS WAS MOST LIKELY A A SHAM


Sarnoff made his pitch to go out and find a lawyer at the City Commission meeting on December 13th.   Watch and listen to how Sarnoff describes what his intention was regarding “interviewing attorneys” in the video clip below. It’s only 1:37 long.

The Commission meeting was on December 13th.  Sarnoff claims that he hadn’t done any previous work on searching for a lawyer, and, in response to Frank Carollo’s query, he talks about bringing back several recommendations to the Commissioners,


Yet, 5 days later on December 18th, a New York lawyer has written a letter all but accepting the job, even offering a discount on his rate, and Sarnoff’s clerk follows up by  making the subject of his January 7th email to the other Commissioners, “Appointing Richard J. Davis as special counsel for the City Commission regarding issues of corporate governance.”


While Mr. Davis’ credentials are certainly impressive, the question - since we’re dealing with the unethical Commissioner Sarnoff - is why this particular lawyer from New York, and why is he being hired for “corporate governance?”


To listen to Sarnoff pontificate at the December 13th Commission meeting, you would have thought that these were esoteric, once-in-lifetime legal issues only capable of being handled by a tiny handful of lawyers in America.


The truth of the matter is that if Julie Bru hadn’t been implicated as being at least an unwilling, or perhaps willing witness and possible co-conspirator, she would have handled the issues dealing with the lawsuit herself, and since Julie Bru is a political hack of a lawyer, and certainly no rocket scientist, the bar didn’t really need to be lifted all the way to New York to find her replacement.


So the idea that the other Dwarfs on the City Commission - all of them as I have previously pointed out in detail have real conflicts of interests themselves - being once again bamboozled by Sarnoff into allowing him to go out and bring in a lawyer from New York, when the issues involved could have been as easily been handled by at least a dozen lawyers in South Florida, only reveals just how stupid and incapable of making rational or intelligent decisions the members of the City Commission are, and how big a sneak Sarnoff is.


This might be the first time that a Mayor of Miami has been sued on allegations that he engaged in an Racketeering and Organized Conspiracy (RICO), to try and remove a sitting City Commissioner, but contrary to the claims made by Sarnoff, the single most important issues have nothing to do with “corporate governance,” “vicarious liability” or “collateral estoppel,” but rather, the only issue that concerns all of these people is will they be able to get the city to pay for their legal costs, and will they be able to bamboozle the citizens and taxpayers into believing that they are entitled to chose the lawyers they want.


That’s what’s at stake here.  None of the assholes involved in this bullshit gives a flying fuck about vicarious liability or any of the others issues that Sarnoff used as fairy dust. 


Given all the nasty, corrupt, underhanded, unprincipled, illegal deals that they’ve done over the last 3 years at the taxpayers expense, vicarious liability is just another way to describe the screwing that the taxpayers get every time the City Commission meets.


Therefore, none of the issues in this lawsuit rises to the level of a convoluted, we’ll never see this again legal drama requiring some $950.00 an hour lawyer from New York coming to Miami to sort it all out for these Banana Republic morons.


The only thing that’s really required is reading and understanding the process that the City Attorney has previously established and used for providing lawyers for city employees who have been sued.


THE EXPOSITO, ALVAREZ DECISION


As I wrote in my December story, the Mayor wants Jose Quinon to represent him, and he wants the City Commission to agree to this, and more importantly he want them to agree to paying Qunion whatever rate he wants.


And of course, Commissioner “Ethics” and Julie Bru and anyone else lurking in the shadows also wants the City to pick up the tab for their lawyers, and, like Regalado, you can bet that each one of them already has a lawyer waiting in the wings to represent them too.


Like so many other tales in the Banana Republic of Miami, in the end this is just another story about the taxpayers having to pay for the bad behavior of their elected politicians.


The only problem for Regalado and the others is that as I previously pointed out, Julie Bru has on more than one occasion spelled out in very specific detail the process for how city employees are to be provided lawyers, and what the going rate for these lawyers should be.


The most recent case where she explained the process,  occurred on June of 2011, after then Chief Miguel Exposito and Major Al Alvarez were sued by a Hialeah Maquinita owner - who was supposedly referred to as a gangster on a TV show that they appeared on - Julie Bru went into detail explaining the city’s position on providing them with an attorney. (June 9, 2011, Page 138.)

That’s the problem these people are trying to get around in a nutshell.  

Regalado wants Quinon, just like Exposito and Alvarez wanted their own lawyer. Exposito and Alvarez wanted the City to pay for that lawyer, and Bru said “No.” If the City was going to pay, then it was going to choose the lawyer.

But that’s not what Regalado wants.

This is obviously the real reason that Regalado appointed Sarnoff as the Chairman of the Commission last week.  Sarnoff needed to deliver an outside lawyer that at the end of the day goes along with giving him Jose Quinon, at Quinon’s rate.

We’ll probably never see how this deal gets worked out, because, this has the potential to be so nasty a deal that a dollar to a donut says that the City Commission will claim that they need to go into Executive Session where the record of that meeting will be buried until the last appeal is heard on this case a decade from now.  

IT’S A SARNOFF SPECIAL

The easiest evidence that establishes that this deal is cooked is the timeline.

Richard Davis’s letter is dated December 18th. Figure that Sarnoff had the letter no later than December 22nd.  

He didn’t have his clerk send out a notice to the other Commissioners that he planned to bring this up as a “supplemental item on the agenda for the January 10th meeting,” until January 7th, thereby keeping the item, and more importantly all of the above documents off of the City’s Legistar website.

This doesn’t happen by mistake.  This was done with malice and forethought.

Once again boys and girls, if it wasn’t for me, no one would know that any of this was going to happen on Thursday, because Sarnoff didn’t want anyone to have prior knowledge. 

Like all Sarnoff cooked deals, this one would have been announced at the very last minute, and no one would have had any of the documents that I’ve posted tonight.

When you go to this length to keep this secret, you just got to expect that somewhere behind the scenes is something that Sarnoff didn’t want to give folks time to go looking for.

This is when a real Commissioner with balls would invoke the 5 Day Rule, and just jam Sarnoff, Regalado and whoever else is scheming behind the scenes.  All it take to push this to the next Commission meeting is to say, “I invoke the 5 Day Rule!

Everybody can scream all they want, but the rule is the rule, and it can’t be overturned or nullified by a vote.

But that takes balls and a willingness to stand up for the taxpayers, and sadly there’s no one on the Commission who has balls, and a desire to stand up for anyone other than themselves.

So because there is no one looking out for the citizens of Miami in this deal, here are some issues that need to be raised, but probably won’t, but at least no one will be able to say later that no one ever raised them in a timely fashion.

ISSUE NUMBER ONE: WHOSE PROTECTING THE TAXPAYER’S MONEY?

While you can’t very well limit the amount of money that the lawyers representing Regalado and the other will end up billing the City - except by setting the hourly rate.

The truth of the matter is that the City of Miami is full of morons who do all kinds of stupid shit that ends up getting them sued. 

In fact, as I’ve written about in the past, the city has a history of going through couple million dollars a year in paying outside attorney’s to run up thousands of hours in billable time before deciding that the best thing to do is settle with the people suing the City and it’s employees.

None one cent of all the money spent defending the Mayor is going to represent anything of value for the citizens of Miami.  

All of this money is going to be spent solely because Tomas Regalado is a moron and the lackeys around him are idiots, and the lawyers in the City Attorney’s office who were a party to all of this as it was going on were unethical cowards who could have taken what they knew to the Governor, the US Attorney, the Miami Herald, or even held a press conference in front of City Hall when doing so could have made a difference.   

ISSUE NUMBER TWO: WHY YOU SHOULD NOT NECESSARILY TRUST A LAWYER WHO OFFERS DISCOUNTS

The discounted $700.00 an hour Mr. Davis claims he’s willing to charge the City is not necessarily a deal.  

For instance, figure that it takes  3 1/2 - 4 hours to go from his home in New York to the airport, wait for the flight and come to Miami. Round trip, that’s roughly 8 hours. 8 hours at $700.00 is $5600. $5600 divided by $250 - the hourly amount he’s giving up - is 22 hours and change.  See, right there he could get 22 hours of that discount back.

How could that happen you ask?  Well there are lawyers who will bill one client for the cost of a flight, and another client for the time on the airplane supposedly doing work for them while flying to meet their first client. It’s a lawyer trick that they don’t teach in law school.

This doesn't mean that Mr. Davis is one of those kinds of lawyers, but since we won’t have access to his billing records, the best way to insure that doesn’t happen it to negotiate a rate for  Mr. Davis at the outset to minimize things like that happening.  

ISSUE NUMBER THREE: YOU CAN NEVER TRUST “ETHICS” SARNOFF

Lastly, because it’s Commissioner “Ethics” whose at the center of all of this, and because his unethical behavior has become so pervasive in just about everything he touches, maybe Lois Lane over at the Miami Herald might take a little time off from tweeting and managing her Fantasy Football Team spend some time and Herald resources in seeing if there is a background connection between Commissioner “Ethics,” and/or one of his playmates and Mr. Davis.

I’m not saying that there is, but this is the same fibber who claimed that General David Sarnoff, the founder of RCA was his grandfather, who operated an illegal law firm out of a house in Coconut Grove for 10 or more years, and who has lied so many times about so many things that his nose really is growing.

When it comes to something this important, you just cannot give Sarnoff the benefit of a doubt. With Sarnoff you’ve got to assume that whatever he’s doing is corrupt and unethical until it’s proven otherwise, and showing up with a New York lawyer who just happens to be a pal of a pal is just the kind of thing that Sarnoff is all too capable of doing.

It’s Miami, Bitches!
MY MISTAKE

In the below story I made a serious factual error.  I stated, and based part of my argument on the misstatement that the letter that Commissioner Sarnoff’s aide had sent to the other Commissioners was dated on January 7th.  In fact, it was plainly dated on January 2nd.  I read the January 7th date from the heading of the email that was used to forward me these emails, and hence it was my mistake and a serious one.


However, with some irony, the fact that these email were sent out on January 2nd instead of January 7th, does bolster my argument that Commissioner “Ethics”  did attempt to keep this information secret from the public, because having sent these emails out on January 2nd, he had more than ample opportunity to have the item placed on the agenda.  In fact, the current uproar over the decision of Commissioner “Ethics” to block the 2nd weekend of the Ultra Music Festival, was an item that the Commissioner scheduled as a Supplemental Agenda. (See 2nd agenda)


In any event, I apologize for this mistake.  It was serious, and I have no excuse for how it happened.

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