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CITY ATTORNEY VICTORIA MENDEZ GOT A COPY OF THE LAWSUIT CHALLENGING HER CLAIM THAT SHE CAN DETERMINE WHEN THE MAYOR CAN VETO AN ITEM PASSED BY THE COMMISSION EVEN THOUGH THE MAYOR TOLD ME IT HADN'T BEEN FILED YET.
THIS RAISES THE QUESTION OF HOW DID SHE GET HER HANDS ON THIS DOCUMENT, AND WHY IS IT MISSING A PAGE?
Last Thursday afternoon, Victoria Mendez, the Miami City Attorney sent an email to the Mayor, the members of the city commission and the city manager, informing them that the city and the manager had been sued.
She attached a copy of the lawsuit.
There was a slight problem with the lawsuit that she attached however, because while the time stamp on the lawsuit shows that it was entered into the electronic filing system now in operation by the Miami-Dade Clerk of Court, the lawsuit was never officially entered into the system.
Someone - probably the same person who initially filed the document - cancelled it.
This raises a very interesting question. How did the City Attorney get a copy of a lawsuit that hadn't actually entered the system? Does the Miami-Dade Clerk of Court provide a backdoor portal for some folks to be able to see whose filing what, because by law, because until that lawsuit was actually officially entered into the system it shouldn't have been considered a public record.
If it wasn't the Clerk of Court, could it have been one of the attorneys identified on the last page of the lawsuit who slipped her a copy?
This raises another question because there is a critical page missing from the lawsuit. That page is the signature page that would have shown who the lead attorney(s) filing the lawsuit were.
In this case, that would have been an attorney from Colson Hicks, who represented Francis Suarez in the Strong Mayor challenge filed by Commissioner Carollo, and is now representing him in this case.
I learned that Colson Hicks was representing Suarez because that was his response to a text I sent him regarding the obvious confusion over this lawsuit floating around without a signature page.
Then of course, there are the issues that Mendez raises about this the timeliness of this lawsuit being filed before a settlement agreement has been signed between the city and West Flagler Associates.
It's all confusing, and raises the question who's steering the ship, because if the Mayor and his people can't manage the filing of a lawsuit without screwing it up, then what can they manage?
On the other hand, if Victoria Mendez is so eager to pound on Suarez that she's distributing a draft lawsuit that's missing a page, and using it to fan the flames in her battle to emasculate the Mayor by claiming that she has to power to determine when he can veto an item, then someone needs to file a bar complaint and the commission needs to fire her.
One of those might happen a lot sooner than anyone thinks.
It's Miami, Bitches!
NUMBER 68 - MARCH 9, 2020
Copyrighted: 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
From: Mendez, Victoria <VMendez@miamigov.com>
Sent: Thursday, March 5, 2020 12:28:17 PM
Subject: New Litigation: Francis Suarez, et al. v. City of Miami, et al.
Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission:
I am writing to advise you of the filing of the following new lawsuit:
Francis Suarez, as Mayor of the City of Miami; 2020 Biscayne Boulevard, LLC; 2060 Biscayne Boulevard, LLC; 2060 NE 2nd Ave., LLC; 246 NE 20th Terrace, LLC; Paraiso Beachclub Operator, LLC; Ronald M. Friedman, individually; Ernesto Cuesta, individually and as President of the Brickell Homeowners Association, Inc.; and Brickell Homeowners Association, Inc. v. City of Miami, a Municipal Corporation; and Arthur Noriega, solely in his official capacity as the City of Miami City Manager.
This case has been filed in the Circuit Court and seeks declaratory, injunctive relief, and monetary damages arising out the proposed settlement of the federal action brought by West Flagler Associates against the City concerning permission to operate a summer Jai Alai fronton which was approved by the City Commission on February 13, 2020. Against the advice of this office, the Mayor submitted a veto of the settlement.
Notwithstanding the fact that the settlement has not been signed by the City Manager and that West Flagler and the City are continuing the federal litigation, the Complaint in this new lawsuit requests the following relief:
1) a declaration that the veto is effective;
2) an injunction to enforce the veto;
3) a declaration that the 2012 zoning interpretation is void and ultra virus; and
4) an injunction voiding the 2012 zoning interpretation.
Further, the Complaint seeks:
“An order directing the City not to issue any development approvals, development orders, development permits, or any authorization for any gaming facilities that, in any manner, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly arise from or are predicated upon the 2012 Gambling Interpretation or the 2018 Verification Letters”;
“An Order enforcing the Mayor’s authority to direct the City manager not to sign any proposed settlement in violation of the Mayoral Veto”; and
“Damages as allowed by law”.
This lawsuit presents a conflict of interest for this Office which cannot be waived. Accordingly, this Office will be retaining conflict counsel to represent the City and the City Manager.
A copy of the Complaint is attached.
Victoria Méndez, City Attorney
Board Certified, City, County and
City of Miami Office of the City Attorney
firstname.lastname@example.orgAssistant: Marta Gomez (305) 416-1844