City attorney, Thomas Pepe recently called for a special “Shade Meeting” to talk with our “green” leaders about the lawsuits filed against the city of South Miami and perhaps another one or two. Lots of people are under the impression that the city will be bleeding “green” well into the future, as attorneys from both sides continue to rack up big fees.
And in the WOW department, authoritative sources have stated that former Police Chief Orlando Martinez, who sued the city, is now reportedly asking for a whopping 2.7 million dollars to settle several of his cases! And that’s just to take care of some of them and we’re not quite sure if that even includes attorney fees.
One thing for sure is that the city is spending a whole pile of “green” to defend itself against the former Chief who sued for breach of his 5-year contract, which was championed by the mayor at the time, which was Phil Stoddard and supported by a majority of the commission.
At the time of the Chief’s firing, it looked liked the city could not cite a probable cause to terminate the former chief’s contract, so City Attorney Pepe, opined that firing Martinez based on his temporary assignment as acting city manager while the manager was on leave, “constituted a breach” of his contract. During his tenure, the former chief had served as “acting city manager” approximately nine times yet, Mr. Pepe did not object nor “ Ring any bells.” Not surprisingly the city lost the case and now have to mediate the “green” part.
Adding insult to injury, the former chief also filed a malpractice lawsuit against Mr. Pepe, alleging that it was his job to protect both the former chief and the city in the first place, by advising both parties, that, serving as the acting city manager, “constituted a breach” in his contract with the city.
In addition, records show that the former chief has also sued the city for HIPPA violations due to Commissioner Welsh’s public discussion of his medical records. Along with these lawsuits, Martinez has sued Mayor Phil Stoddard personally for slander. Though not a part of these proceedings, records also show that a second individual has also filed a personal slander lawsuit against the mayor.
If the former chief gets his way the taxpayers of “The City of Pleasant Living” will be bleeding “green” for quite some time.
Seems that the BUGS are back in vogue as it has been reported that Commissioner Bob “Bobble Head” Welsh’s cell phone may have been hacked. Golly gee guys, who would want to spend their energy doing that? And that’s just rhetorical and I really don’t want an answer. But it would be fun thinking about all the folks that might just do that type of thing.
And speaking of bugs. It is election time come February and as the song goes “Paranoia strikes deep and into your heart it will creep” or so think some folks over at city hall. Some visitors and a couple of staffers think that city hall is bugged and they just might be right, depending on your definition. HMMMM.
And speaking of elections, couldn’t help but notice that there were a couple of newcomers sitting in the audience at the last city commission meeting. I’ll just betcha that one of them was looking at the biggest chair up there and trying to figure out the best way to win at King of the Mountain.
Saw long time civic activist, Dick Ward walking around with a very determined look on his face. Mr. Ward, as I like to call him has been helping people get elected for decades in our fair city. Although the last few election cycles haven’t been nice to him, he seems as though he is really serious this go around and is gonna do what needs to get done to get a new ringmaster installed come February.
Got any tips? Contact me at 305-669- 7355, ext. 249, or send emails to Michael@communitynewspapers.com.