Docstoc

City of Miami The Magic City!

Document Sample
City of Miami The Magic City! Powered By Docstoc
					City of Miami
Office of the City Attorney
    The Magic City!




            Executive Summary
        July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010



                       Julie O. Bru, City Attorney
 

MESSAGE FROM THE CITY ATTORNEY
 
 
                                                                   October 5, 2010
                                      
                                      
                                      
                                      
                                     Julie O. Bru, City Attorney
                                      




        After serving as the City Attorney for more than two and a half years, I continue to be
awed by the depth and quality of the expertise required by the attorneys in the office who have
the honor to serve the Mayor, Commissioners and Administration of the City. Even a cursory
examination of the number and breadth of issues we have zealously undertaken mandates the
conclusion that the Miami Office of the City Attorney performs important and meaningful work
to benefit the public.

         This report presents the nature and amount of legal work handled by the Office of the
City Attorney. It also highlights some of the most significant accomplishments obtained on
behalf of our clients from July 1, 2009 thru June 30, 2010 (the “Reporting Period”).

         As our City copes with tremendous reductions in revenue from every traditional source
for Fiscal Year 2010-2011, I am committed to focusing on fiscal responsibility while continuing
to provide the full range of core legal services required to meet the substantial legal demands of
the City’s governing body and administration.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                 1 
 
 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
         Message from the City Attorney ................................................................................ 1

         City Attorney’s Office Objectives ............................................................................. 3

         Overview .................................................................................................................... 4

         Budget ........................................................................................................................ 5

         Civil Litigation and Appeals ...................................................................................... 7
                Civil Rights .................................................................................................... 9
                Constitutional Challenges .............................................................................. 9
                Torts ...............................................................................................................11
                Commercial ....................................................................................................12
                Land Use and Code Enforcement ..................................................................13
                Significant Settlements ..................................................................................14

         Labor and Employment..............................................................................................14
                Civil Service Board ........................................................................................16
                Workers’ Compensation ................................................................................16

         Quality of Life and Environment ...............................................................................20

         Contracts and Procurement ........................................................................................22

         General Government and Public Safety .....................................................................23

         Development and Affordable Housing ......................................................................24

         Internship Program.....................................................................................................25
                                                                        




Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                                                               2 
 
 



CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE OBJECTIVES
 
 

                Mission                                             Vision
To provide the highest quality of legal               To provide a full range of timely, efficient,
services to the City of Miami while ethically         and cost-effective legal services to the City
and zealously representing our clients.               Commission,      the    Mayor      and    the
                                                      Administration.




                                    Goals 2010 - 2011
    *    Continue to efficiently and effectively ensure that the legal needs of the City of Miami
         are served at the lowest cost possible while maintaining the highest standard of service.
    *    Create money-savings management strategies by continued use of available electronic
         support systems.
    *    Develop and implement a systematic approach to professional development, including
         skills and leadership competencies for the next generation of attorneys.
    *    Establish a cost effective in-house Labor practice.




Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                  3 
 
 



OVERVIEW

     During this reporting period the Office of the City Attorney provided a full range of legal
services essential to support the operations and functions of all City departments, including
Police and Fire, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Public Facilities, Risk Management,
Planning and Development, and Employee Relations. Significant legal services were provided
to the City in the area of General Government which included drafting and creating 107
Ordinances and 547 Resolutions, ultimately enacted by the City Commission.
     Additionally, the City Attorney issued 171 informal written legal opinions and 5 formal
written legal opinions while keeping the City Commission and Administration updated and
informed on federal, state and county action affecting the conduct of municipal affairs. The City
Attorney and staff attorneys also provided legal representation and advice at all meetings of the
City Commission and to approximately 40 City Authorities, Boards and Committees. The City
Attorney meets regularly with members of the City Commission, the Mayor and other City
officials and department directors to discuss legal issues pertaining to their official duties.
    A variety of legal opinions were issued including reimbursement of attorneys’ fees for public
employees, the use of public funds to improve private properties, conflicts of interest involving
the Community Redevelopment Agency, conflicts of interest involving attorneys employed by
the City Attorney’s Office, defamation of public officials, sovereignty and immunity issues
involving federal agencies, filming in private residences, ethical issues involving lobbyists, the
applicability of the City’s parking surcharge to religious entities, the applicability of the parking
surcharge to on-street parking and the Miami Parking Authority, regulation of political campaign
signs, residency requirements of Board members, and due process issues in administrative
proceedings. All formal written Legal Opinions issued by this Office from 2003 through the
current date may be found on our website at www.miamigov.com/cityattorney - click on “City
Attorney Opinions”.
                                  The total number of files opened during the reporting period,
                              including all matters received pursuant to legal services requests,
                              and lawsuits and claims filed against or by the City were 3,847. Of
                              the 162 new civil litigation matters filed against the City, only one
                              matter was outsourced to outside counsel due to conflict. Deputy
                              City Attorney Warren Bittner and the litigators assigned to the Civil
                              Litigation and Appeals section are counsel of record for all of the
                              remaining new civil litigation matters. The volume of matters
                              opened during this Reporting Period includes a significant number
                              of high profile cases.




    4                                                           Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 



BUDGET

   The Office of the City Attorney adopted budget for FY 2009–2010 was $5,133,366 for office
operations and personnel expenses. The FY 2009–2010 budget was reduced, from the prior
budget year, approximately $1,734,630 which represents a 22% overall reduction. Currently,
about 86% of the budget is for personnel costs. The FY 2009-2010 budget required a workforce
reduction of twelve (12) full time personnel, bringing the office’s operations to the level of the
budget adopted in FY 2005–2006.

     As of the date of this report the office is staffed by 41 full time employees. This includes
eighteen (18) attorneys, authorized by the City Commission, an office administrator, a
management information specialist, a legislative coordinator, an administrative assistant, ten (10)
litigation assistants, one (1) paralegal and six (6) legal services staff. The administrative staff
works directly with the City Attorney to oversee the daily operations, department personnel
matters, the coordination of legislation and operation of information and document management
systems.
    For FY 2010-2011 the City Commission has authorized two (2) additional assistant city
attorney positions bringing the total number of attorney positions to 25. As of the date of this
report we have initiated a recruitment campaign to address the needs and strategic goal of our
clients.




Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                  5 
 
   

NUMBER OF OPEN LITIGATION & CLAIMS AS OF JULY 1, 2010


                          AREA OF LAW                            OPEN MATTERS
           Administrative ‐ 115                                                1 
           Attorney’s Fees ‐106c                                               1 
           Bankruptcy ‐103b                                                   55 
           Civil Forfeitures & Vehicle Impoundment ‐112                       52 
           Civil Rights ‐102                                                  25 
           Civil Rights Appeals ‐102a                                          9 
           Civil Rights Claims ‐102c                                           2 
           Code Enforcement & Nuisance Abatement ‐110                         19 
           Code Enforcement & Nuisance Abatement Appeal ‐110a                  9 
           Code Enforcement Pre‐Suit\Claims ‐ 110c                             0 
           Code Enforcement Hearings ‐ 116                                    854 
           Collection – Judgments ‐ 114                                       12 
           Collection ‐ Account Receivables – 114b                             0 
           Collection Pre‐Suit\Claims – 114c                                   1 
           Collection – Liens – 114d                                           0 
           Commercial ‐103                                                    31 
           Commercial & Bankruptcy Appeals ‐103a                               1 
           Commercial & Bankruptcy Claims ‐103c                                4 
           Commercial Other ‐103o                                             10 
           Eminent Domain ‐109                                                 5 
           Foreclosure (City Defendant) ‐111a                                1,183 
           Foreclosure (City Plaintiff) ‐111b                                 22 
           Foreclosure Claims ‐111c                                           50 
           Labor/Employment ‐106                                              107 
           Labor/Employment Appeals ‐106a                                      5 
           Land Use ‐104                                                      24 
           Land Use Appeals ‐104a                                              5 
           Land Use Pre‐Suit\Claims – 104c                                     0 
           Public Records/Sunshine/Election Law ‐107                           3 
           Quiet Title (City Defendant) ‐113a                                 22 
           Quiet Title (City Plaintiff) ‐113b                                  7 
           Quiet Title Claims ‐ 113c                                          24 
           Special Assessments/Fees ‐ 105                                     12 
           Special Assessments/Fees Appeals ‐ 105a                             3 
           Special Assessments/Fees Claims ‐ 105c                             24 
           Subrogation ‐101s                                                  27 
           Torts ‐101                                                         121 
           Torts Appeals ‐101a                                                 5 
           Torts Pre‐Suit\Claims ‐101c                                        262 
           Workers’ Compensation ‐108                                         147 
           Workers’ Compensation Appeals ‐108a                                 3 
           Workers’ Compensation Claims ‐108c                                  5 
           Workers’ Compensation Lien – 108L                                   3 
                                          TOTAL NUMBER                      3155



      6                                                         Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

   
 

LITIGATION SUMMARY FOR THE REPORTING PERIOD

                                      Reporting Period:            7/01/09 – 6/30/10
                        Lawsuits*
                                                  New Lawsuits           162
                                        Total Lawsuits Tried              11
                                                     Trial Wins           7
                                                    Trial Losses          4
                                        Summary Judgments                 23
                                                     Dismissals           49
                                                    Settlements           66
                        Appeals
                                                   New Appeals            48
                                    Total Appeals Resolved                31
                                                   Appeal Wins            19
                                                  Appeal Losses           12
                        Workers’ Compensation (WC)
                                             New WC Claims                38
                                                    WC Settled            37
                                                 WC Dismissed             41
                        Civil Service (CS)
                                                 New CS Cases             63
                                                     CS Settled           15
                                                 CS Adjudicated           47

* This report includes workers’ compensation litigation, grievances and arbitrations, civil
service matters, and unemployment and discrimination claims. It excludes garnishments, quiet
title actions, foreclosure in which the City defends its interest and code enforcement matters.


CIVIL LITIGATION & APPEALS

    The attorneys assigned to this practice area defend the City and its various agencies,
departments, divisions and employees in lawsuits filed in federal and state courts. The bulk of
the litigation cases involve personal injury, property damage, auto negligence, premises liability,
breach of contract, false arrest, battery, malicious prosecution, violations of civil rights, land use
and labor and employment disputes. In addition, staff attorneys litigate real estate, public
purchasing protests, and public records cases.


Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                     7 
 
 
    This practice area also pursues affirmative litigation matters which seek to recover money
due for breach of contract, damages to City property, injuries suffered by City employees acting
in the course and scope of their employment, and various debts or financial obligations owed to
the City.
     This Office is currently handling 919 cases on behalf of the City in the area of real estate
litigation, which includes foreclosure, and quiet title actions. The City may be either a plaintiff
filing an action to collect its money or a defendant to protect the City’s interest. In spite of the
economic downturn, staff attorneys successfully collected $539,069.70 in foreclosure or quiet
title matters during this reporting period. As the real estate market remains in a slump, this
Office has continued to receive numerous foreclosure and quiet title cases. During this reporting
period the Office of the City Attorney has received an unprecedented number of cases.
     Many of the cases litigated during this reporting period concern significant legal matters
involving constitutional interpretation. Assistant City Attorney John A. Greco authored a legal
article related to one of the novel issues litigated by the office during this reporting period. The
article, published in May/June 2010 issue of The Municipal Lawyer Magazine of the
International Municipal Lawyers Association is titled The Fourth Amendment and Mass
Demonstrations—Does the Dispersal of Protestors by Law Enforcement Constitute a “Seizure”?
Additionally, Mr. Greco spoke at a legal education conference on the topic of: “Sex, Cyberspace,
and the City: Regulating Non-Traditional Forms of Adult Business,” arising out of the City’s
favorable decision, Flava Works, Inc. vs. City of Miami. The novel issue in this case was
whether the Plaintiffs adult entertainment internet business violated the Miami Zoning Ordinance
for doing business in a residential zone.
   The City Attorney issues a monthly report (Monthly Litigation Report) to the members of the
commission which includes a summary of new matters, cases tried, cases settled and the status of
ongoing settlements. Commencing on October 2010, the Monthly Litigation Report will be
available on line at: www.miamigov.com/cityattorney - click on “Monthly Litigation Report”.
    Highlights of some of the matters litigated during this reporting period are summarized in the
following pages by practice area.




    8                                                           Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 

CIVIL RIGHTS
SUMMARY          FINAL      JUDGMENT              ("FTAA") on November 19 & 20, 2003.
GRANTED IN FAVOR OF CITY                         Miami-Dade County settled for $9,999.96,
                                                 Broward Sheriff's Office settled for $24,000,
  American Federation of Labor -
                                                 the City of Hialeah settled for $10,000, the
  Congress          of       Industrial
                                                 City of Ft. Lauderdale settled for $7,500,
  Organizations, Florida Alliance of
                                                 and the City of Miami Beach settled for
  Retired Americans, Thea Lee,
                                                 $20,000.
  Deborah Dion, Michael Cavanaugh,
  and Stewart Acuff vs. City of Miami,
  City of Miami Beach, City of Fort              COURT DISMISSES CLAIMS OF
  Lauderdale, City of Hialeah, Miami-            CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
  Dade County, Al Lamberti, in his                   Prestige        Restaurants        and
  official capacity as Broward Sheriff,              Entertainment, Inc. vs. Bayside
  Kenneth Jenne, John Timoney, Frank                 Seafood Restaurant, Inc., Blue Green
  Fernandez, Thomas Cannon, Louis                    Bay Corporation, Armando LaCasa,
  Battle, John Brooks, Ed Yero, Lee                  Carlos LaCasa, City of Miami,
  Spector and Mark Overton                           Officer Martha Carbana, and
  United States District Court, Case No.:            Commander Lorenzo Whitehead
  07-22966-Civ-Ungaro                                United States District Court, Case
                                                     No.: 09-23128-Civ-Gold
        Plaintiffs    claimed    that    the
                                                          A landlord-tenant type dispute arose
Defendants violated their civil rights under
the    First,    Fourth    and    Fourteenth     between a city licensee and its tenant.
Amendments, conspired to deprive them of         Plaintiff alleges being forcibly evicted from
                                                 the premises, which he claims he had the
their civil rights, and committed other
                                                 right to possess. Lawsuit was filed against
wrongs actionable under state tort law, by
                                                 the city and its employees for violation of
disrupting their alleged attempts to engage
in lawful and peaceful assembly to protest       due process law, unreasonable seizure, and
                                                 in entering into a conspiracy to violate his
the Free Trade Area of the Americas
                                                 civil rights.

CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES

JUDGMENT ENTERED FOR CITY ON                     standards, and unconstitutionally granted the
CHALLENGE          TO       "FINANCIAL           public employer unfettered discretion, which
URGENCY"                                         threatened to impair and impose duties upon
   Miami Association of Firefighters             a contractual agreement between the parties.
   Local 587 of the International                The union sought a declaratory judgment
   Association of Firefighters, of               declaring the statute void and unenforceable,
   Miami, Florida vs. City of Miami              and an injunction prohibiting any
   Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,              negotiations pursuant to that section. After
   Case No.: 10-27577 CA 20                      hearing on the union's Motion for
                                                 Preliminary Injunction, the Court entered a
       The Firefighters union alleged that
                                                 Final Judgment in favor of the City. The
Section 447.4095, entitled, "Financial
Urgency" contained no definition, or             case is currently on appeal.


Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                             9 
 
 
PARTIAL JUDGMENT FOR CITY -                          Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,
BUSINESS IN RESIDENTIAL AREA                         Case No.: 08-77800 CA 08
    Flava Works, Inc., and Angel                          Milan alleged that the enabling
    Barrios vs. City of Miami, FL, and            legislation for the Downtown Development
    Code Enforcement Board                        Authority (DDA) was illegally enacted, that
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh               the City did not properly create the DDA, or
    Circuit, Case No.: 09-11264                   properly expand its boundaries, and that the
        Flava Works leased a residence in a       .5 mill ad valorem tax levied by the DDA
residential area and hired all male               violates equal protection and due process.
independent contractors to live at the            The trial court granted the City's and the
residence and perform sexual acts with each       DDA's Motions to Dismiss finding that the
other. The acts were captured by webcams          Plaintiff's claims are subject to a four year
located throughout the house, and broadcast       statute of limitations, and that the cause of
over the internet for money.             Code     action accrued before 2002, more than four
Enforcement cited the property for doing          years prior to the filing of the Complaint.
"business" in a residential zone in violation
of the Miami Zoning Ordinance. The Code
Enforcement Board found the property in
violation. Flava Works and the property
owner challenged the order of the Board in
U.S. District Court, on various constitutional
and state law grounds. Avoiding all the
constitutional issues, the lower court ruled
that the activities taking place at the
residence “do not amount to the unlawful
operation of a 'business' in a residential
zone.” The City appealed. The U.S. Court
of Appeals reversed findings in favor of the
City, because “The activities taking place at
the residence are a clear violation of the
prohibition against operating a 'business' in a   JUDGMENT UPHOLDING GLOBAL
residential zone.” The case was remanded          AGREEMENT             FOR       BASEBALL
to the District Court for further proceedings     STADIUM
on the constitutional claims, which were not          Norman Braman, et al. vs. Miami-
considered in the lower court.                        Dade County, etc, et al.
                                                      Third District Court of Appeal, Case
COURT DIMISSES CHALLENGE TO                           No 3D08-3245
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT                                      Local      businessman,     Braman,
AUTHORITY’S TAXING AUTHORITY                      appealed the Circuit Court’s judge decision
  Milan Investment Group, Inc. vs. City           rejecting the challenge to the Global
  of    Miami,   Miami     Downtown               Agreement between the County, the City
  Development Authority, Miami-Dade               and the Community Revitalization Agency,
  County Property Appraiser, Miami-               and the challenge to various aspects of the
  Dade County Tax Collector, and                  financing for the proposed Marlins baseball
  Florida Department of Revenue                   stadium. The ruling of the lower court was
                                                  affirmed.



    10                                                      Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 
MITIGATION           ORDER         UPHELD          that the violation went uncorrected. Fines
AGAINST CHALLENGE THAT $10,000                     accrued up to an amount of $27,750. The
FINE WAS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY                        owner requested a mitigation hearing and
"EXCESSIVE FINE”                                   the fine was mitigated to $10,000. The
    RYA Investments, Inc. vs. City of              owner then appealed the Mitigation Order.
    Miami                                          The issue raised on appeal was whether the
    Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,               fine was "excessive" in violation of state and
    Appellate Division, Case No.: 08-              federal law. The City's position was that the
    542 AP                                         owner waived his right to appeal this issue,
        RYA Investments was found in               and that the fine was not "excessive" under
                                                   state and federal law. The Court agreed
violation of the Miami Zoning Ordinance for
failure to maintain exterior of commercial or      with the City and the Order of the Code
                                                   Enforcement Board was affirmed.
residential property. The Code Enforcement
Board imposed a fine of $250 for each day

TORTS
VERDICT FOR THE CITY - MOTOR                       water. Plaintiff broke his arm and fractured
VEHICLE ACCIDENT                                   his wrist. He required surgery to have a
                                                   metal brace inserted in his arm in order for it
    Wilfredo Acosta vs. City Of Miami
                                                   to set properly. The surgery, at Jackson
    Miami Dade County Circuit Court,
                                                   Memorial Hospital cost thirty-five thousand
    Case No.: 06-07911 CA 32
                                                   dollars ($35,000.00). The Plaintiff also
         Plaintiff alleges he suffered a tear to   required a future surgery to remove the
his left bicep muscle and two herniated discs      metal brace at a cost of twenty thousand
in his lumbar spine when he was involved in        dollars ($20,000.00). The plaintiff’s pretrial
a motor vehicle accident with a City garbage       settlement demand was one hundred
truck. The Plaintiff alleged that the City’s       thousand dollars ($100,000.00), and at trial
driver ran a stop sign and collided with           the Plaintiff demanded one hundred twenty-
Plaintiff’s vehicle at N.W. 7th Street and 30th    five thousand dollars ($125,000.00), plus
Court. The City asserted that Plaintiff’s          pain and suffering. In defense, the City put
negligence was the cause of the accident and       on the testimony to support the City’s
that Plaintiff did not sustain a permanent         position that the injury had not occurred at
injury as a result of the collision. After one     the park. After three days of trial, and two
hour of deliberations, the jury determined         hours of deliberation, the jury returned a
that the City’s driver was not negligent.          defense verdict for the City.
Before trial, the Plaintiff’s attorney
demanded $90,000 to settle the case.               CITY’S      SUMMARY          JUDGMENT
                                                   GRANTED - WRONGFUL DEATH
VERDICT FOR THE CITY - SERIOUS                        Teresa Guerrero, as personal
BODILY INJURY                                         representative of the Estate of
   William Blanco vs. City of Miami                   Guillermo Guerrero vs. City of
   Miami-Dade Circuit Court Case No.:                 Miami, James Powell, et. al.
   09-51683 CA 13                                     Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,
       Plaintiff alleged that he was playing          Case No.: 01-7846-CA-09
soccer with his brothers in a city park, when            This was wrongful death action in
he slipped and fell in a hole filled with          which the Court granted the City’s motion

Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                11 
 
 
for summary judgment. Plaintiff alleges that     the course of the traffic stop. At the time of
the decedent, Guillermo Guerrero was             the incident, Plaintiff was driving a motor
involved in a fatal automobile accident with     scooter with his girlfriend as a passenger.
James Powell. Allegedly the accident was         Plaintiff asserted a false arrest claim against
caused by the obstruction of a traffic light.    the City for the traffic stop, and a negligence
The City contended that it was not               claim against the County for the motor
responsible for maintaining or trimming the      vehicle accident.           Contrary to the
foliage. In addition the City contended that     allegations, discovery revealed that Plaintiff
there was no record evidence that an             had not yet stopped for the City’s police car
obstructed traffic light caused or contributed   when he was struck by the vehicle operated
to the accident in question.                     by an undercover Miami-Dade County
                                                 police officer. Plaintiff testified that a City
CITY’S      SUMMARY           JUDGMENT           police car pulled up behind him and
GRANTED ON FALSE ARREST                          activated its siren. Additionally, discovery
CLAIM                                            revealed that the County police officer
   Michael Alexander vs. Miami-Dade              issued the traffic citation to Plaintiff. The
   County and City of Miami                      Court held that even if the City’s police car
   Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,              had activated its siren, this was not sufficient
   Case No.: 05-24125 CA 09                      to sustain a false arrest claim, and granted
                                                 the City’s motion for summary judgment.
      The Plaintiff in this case alleged that
                                                 The City has filed motions to recover its
he was unlawfully detained in a traffic stop
                                                 costs and attorney’s fees.
and was struck by a vehicle operated by a
Miami-Dade County police officer during

COMMERCIAL

JUDGMENT ENTERED FOR CITY ON                     CITY RECOVERED MONIES IN
DEFAULTED CDBG LOAN                              FORECLOSURE ACTION
    City of Miami vs. Your Chef,                      Rolando Barrero Interest, Inc. vs.
    Incorporated, d/b/a Judy's Catering               Raul Galindo, an individual, Latin
    Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Case             American Cafeteria, Inc., a dissolved
    No.: 09-12658 CA 09                               Florida Corporation, et al.
                                                      Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,
        This was a breach of contract action          Case No.: 07-45607 CA 08
on a defaulted CDBG loan to Your Chef,
Inc., a Florida dissolved corporation. Final               The Plaintiff sued to foreclose all
summary judgment was entered for the City        inferior interests on the property located at
in the total amount of $387,884.83, inclusive    2947-49 S.W. 22nd Terrace, Miami, FL, and
of interest and attorney's fees.                 moved for summary judgment. When an
                                                 objection was filed by the City, a lien related
                                                 to an unsafe structure on the property in the
                                                 amount of $11,221.19 was upheld and the
                                                 City received payment for the full amount of
                                                 its lien.




    12                                                     Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 

LAND USE & CODE ENFORCEMENT
COURT DISMISSES CASE AGAINST                      WRIT OF CERTIORARI DENIED IN
THE CITY                                          FAVOR OF CITY
    Amos Allen, et al. vs. City of Miami              CONTRADA of Miami, LLC. vs. City
    Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,                  of Miami
    Case No.: 10-13428 CA-21                          Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,
        City successfully argued its Motion to        Appellate Division,
Dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction.                Case No.: 06-108 AP
Plaintiff sought an Injunction asking the Court           The Third District Court of Appeal
to prohibit the City of Miami from                denied the Petition for Writ of Certiorari
demolishing an unsafe structure used as a         filed by the Appellant, affirming the Circuit
church, located at 1024 NW 2 Avenue.              Court's ruling in favor of the City of Miami.
                                                  The Appellate Division of the Circuit Court
APPELLATE COURT AGREES WITH                       held that the Code Enforcement Board was
CITY AND DISMISSES UNTIMELY                       correct in finding that nine trees had been
APPEAL                                            removed without permits in a property in the
    Tomas Balsera Revocable Trust and             City of Miami.
    Caridad Balsera vs. City of Miami
    Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,
    Appellate Division, Case No. 09-182
        The Miami Code Enforcement Board
found Balsera Construction, Inc., in
violation of the Miami Zoning Ordinance
prohibition for maintaining illegal units and
for construction work performed without a
final permit. The Board imposed a fine of
$250 per day until the violations were
corrected. Fines accrued in the amount of
$154,000. After a Mitigation Hearing, the
Board reduced the fine to $25,000. The
Tomas Balsera Revocable Trust and Caridad
Balsera filed an appeal of the Board's
Mitigation Order. The City moved to
dismiss the appeal on the basis that it was
untimely. The Circuit Court Appellate
Division granted the City’s Motion and
dismissed the appeal.




Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                             13 
 
 

SIGNIFICANT SETTLEMENTS

CITY COMMISSION AGREES TO                           resolved and Kevin had calmed down.
ENTRY OF JUDGMENT IN EXCESS                         Plaintiffs allege that backup units had been
OF STATUTORY CAP IN CASE                            called resulting in additional police officers
CONCERNING POLICE-INVOLVED                          arriving at the scene. Plaintiffs claim that
DEATH OF 18 YEAR OLD AUTISTIC                       these police officers were confrontational
BOY.                                                and used extreme excessive force on Kevin.
                                                    Plaintiffs asserted that the City police
   Melvin     Colindres     and     Alma
                                                    officers and Chief Timoney were negligent
   Colindres,         as        personal
                                                    in multiple respects, including how the
   representatives of the Estate of Kevin
                                                    police officers handled the situation.
   Colindres,       deceased,        and
                                                    Plaintiffs claimed damages for Kevin's
   individually vs. City of Miami and
                                                    wrongful death. The case originally had
   Police Chief John Timoney
                                                    been brought as a federal civil rights claim
   Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,
   Case No.: 07-13294 CA 25                         which was dismissed by the federal court.
                                                    After multiple motions for summary
        Plaintiffs   contended      that    on      judgment were heard, substantially pruning
December 12, 2006, the City caused the              down the case for trial, the City Commission
death of their severely autistic son, Kevin         agreed to settle the case by allowing
Colindres, age 18, with the mental age of a 4       judgment to be entered against the City in
year old, who occasionally suffered                 the amount of $2,750,000.           The City
emotional outbursts requiring police                reserves its right to contest an anticipated
intervention. On this particular, incident,         claims bill. Should a claims bill succeed,
the family was required to call 911 for             the City has excess insurance above its
police assistance. Plaintiffs allege that prior     $500,000 self-insured retention.
to the first officer’s arrival, the situation



LABOR & EMPLOYMENT

        This practice area handles all legal matters related to the City’s role as the employer of
approximately 3500 union and non-union workers, including all litigation in state and federal
court in connection with discipline, discharge, and promotions. Staff attorneys also advise
management on labor relations issues, and compliance with state and federal labor laws. In the
area of collective bargaining, staff attorneys with the collaboration of special outside labor
counsel have handled all legal work related to the unionized workforce in matters involving
collective bargaining, union contract administration and grievances. Staff attorneys assigned to
this area represented the City and its employment actions before the Civil Service Board, the
Miami-Dade County Equal Employment Opportunity Board defending against allegations of
discrimination made by current and former employees, the Public Employees Relations
Commission, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Administrative Hearings, and
Unemployment Compensation Appeals.


    14                                                        Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 


       Additionally, staff attorneys coordinated and presented two FLSA webinars for client and
operating departments, and served as guest speakers at a Florida Bar seminar regarding ethics in
the employment litigation context.
         Some of the significant matters handled by the staff attorneys during this reporting period
are:

NEW TRIAL GRANTED FOR CITY                            officer was charged with violation of eight
AFTER VERDICT REACHED AT                              departmental orders and civil service rules.
TRIAL                                                 The Civil Service Board found the Petitioner
    Kathy Daegling vs. City of Miami                  guilty of violating four departmental orders
    Miami Dade County Circuit Court, Case             and recommended a 600-hour suspension.
    No.: 02-29684 CA 02                               The City Manager agreed with the Board's
                                                      determination that the Petitioner violated the
         Plaintiff, a civilian Fire Department
                                                      four Departmental Orders, but rejected the
Inspector, filed a lawsuit alleging numerous
                                                      Board's determination that the Petitioner did
tort claims against two individual
                                                      not violate the other Departmental Orders
employees/former employees and the City.
                                                      and Civil Service Rules. Determining that
She also claimed that she was denied a
                                                      the Petitioner was in violation of all eight
promotion to NET Administrator because of
                                                      Departmental Orders, the City Manager
her race and gender, and was subjected to
                                                      terminated the Petitioner. On appeal, the
retaliation when she complained.           The
                                                      Circuit Court Appellate Division held that
Plaintiff sought compensatory damages and
                                                      the City Manager could not reject the factual
retroactive promotion with all back pay and
                                                      findings of the Board, and reversed and
emoluments. Her employment claims were
                                                      remanded to the City Manager for further
tried on the week of September 14-18, 2009.
                                                      proceedings consistent with the Court’s
On the whistleblower claim, no damages
                                                      decision.
were awarded. On the discrimination claim,
she was awarded $320,000, and on the                  SETTLEMENT OF DISCRIMINATION
retaliation claim she was awarded $180,000.           CLAIMS
The City was granted a new trial which the                Anita Najiy, Audrey Coney-Brown, et al
3rd DCA affirmed on appeal. The tort                      vs. City of Miami
claims were dropped. The employment                       Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Case
claims will have a new trial.                             No.: 04-14936 CA-05
                                                              Numerous plaintiffs claimed that the
APPELLATE         COURT        REVERSES
CITY MANAGER’S REJECTION OF                           City violated its obligations under the
CIVIL SERVICE BOARD’S FINDINGS                        Consent Decree entered into in 1977 with
OF FACT                                               the U.S. Department of Justice regarding its
    Milton McKinnon vs. City of Miami                 hiring practices. The settlement included a
    Miami-Dade County Circuit Court,                  unique lump-sum pensionable back pay
    Appellate Division, Case No.: 08-311AP            amount. This required approval by the
        The Petitioner, a former police               pension office, programming by Employee
officer, was terminated for leaving his               Relations, and multiple check runs by
assigned post to help acquaintances retrieve          Payroll to ultimately obtain correct
personal property from a third party. The
                                                      payments.
Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                  15 
 
 

CIVIL SERVICE BOARD

NON-EMPLOYEE HAS NO RIGHT TO                       Service Board found Cairo guilty of
PROSECUTE COMPLAINT AGAINST                        violating only Civil Service Rule 14.2 (k)
CITY EMPLOYEE BEFORE THE                           for     negligence,     incompetence,        or
CIVIL SERVICE BOARD                                inefficiency in the performance of his
    Mark Terry vs. City of Miami Civil             duties. The Board recommended a letter of
    Service Board                                  reprimand. The City Manager agreed with
    Civil Service Board No.: (none issued)         the finding of guilt, but exercised his
                                                   discretion and terminated Cairo. Cairo filed
        The Appellant, a citizen, was
                                                   a Petition for Writ of Certiorari, arguing that
allegedly arrested and battered by a City of
                                                   the Board departed from the essential
Miami police officer. The citizen attempted
                                                   requirements of law in finding him guilty of
to "prosecute" a complaint against the police
                                                   negligence, incompetence, or inefficiency in
officer via the Civil Service Board. The
                                                   the performance of his duties. The City
Board denied the citizen a hearing, finding
                                                   countered that the Board’s findings were
that such a hearing would be in violation of
                                                   supported      by    competent      substantial
Ch. 112, Fla. Stat. The citizen challenged
                                                   evidence. The Circuit Court, Appellate
the decision of the Board by filing a Petition
                                                   Division denied the Petition thereby
for Writ of Certiorari to the Circuit Court
                                                   upholding the Final Judgment of the City
Appellate Division, of which was denied.
                                                   Manager terminating his employment.
CIVIL SERVICE BOARD'S FINDINGS
OF GUILT UPHELD
    Raul Cairo vs. City of Miami
    Civil Service Board No.: 06-08D
        Cairo was the Police Lieutenant
responsible for the Property Unit when
confidential victim information was leaked
to the media during the Shenandoah rape
investigation. Although he was charged
with violation of several Departmental
Orders and Civil Service Rules, the Civil


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

   During the reporting period this practice area continued to build on the Office of the City
Attorney’s past successes in workers’ compensation. By continuing to work closely with Risk
Management the following was achieved:
   Savings from workers’ compensation reserves have been realized though the uncertain
economy has slowed the interest on the part of injured workers to settle their workers’
compensation claims. The savings were achieved through a combination of victories in litigated
cases, claim dismissals demonstrating extreme intolerance for frivolous or shotgun claims, very


    16                                                       Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 


significant reduction in liability for claimants’ attorneys’ fees and costs, and judicious
negotiations on settlements and washouts of past and future benefits where possible.
     By further streamlining team communication, we have greatly improved access to all
pertinent medical records for timely advice on litigation issues. This was achieved by
implementing regular travel to Gallagher-Bassett Services, the City’s claims administrator,
within days of the receipt of a new petition for benefits, to better develop action plans and impact
statements to identify and coordinate services. Unlike private defense firms which may have
little incentive to quickly and efficiently address issues with a minimum of litigation cost and
expense, our practice emphasizes quick response time to litigation with the intent of improving
the City’s position in keeping with Florida Statutes, or correcting the City’s position where
necessary to keep ancillary costs and exposure to a minimum. For instance, in a claim arising
from an on-the-job accident in 1967, where two petitions for benefits were filed in March 2010
seeking permanent total disability and permanent total supplemental benefits dating back to
1968, the assigned staff attorney expeditiously investigated and analyzed 42 years of file
materials, obtained the relevant information affecting the viability of the claim, and immediately
conveyed the information to claimant’s counsel, convincing the claimant and counsel to
voluntarily dismiss both petitions for benefits in April 2010 without the City having to incur
defense costs such as the taking of depositions, etc.
    For FY 2010-2011, we will continue strategic training through periodic and timely reporting
through e-mails and mini-seminars. As case law develops and new decisions are released said
communication policy will be implemented to assure timely and appropriate responses to claims
and requests for benefits.
   Additionally, we will continue to ensure that subrogation recoveries under F.S. 440.39 have
been maximized from third party defendants responsible for injuries to City employees.
   The City’s handling of occupational diseases affecting first responders as defined in F.S.
112.18(1) has been modified to keep pace with the many new appellate decisions. The decisions
have significantly affected the manner in which these cases are analyzed and considered for
acceptance, thereby reducing the City’s potential exposure to significantly costly claims that
would otherwise not be compensable.
    Some of the significant results in the area of Workers’ Compensation include:
COMPENSATION CLAIM DENIED                            $500,000. Judge of Compensation Claims
    Robert Burgess vs. City of Miami                 denied a claim for payment of wage loss
    Office of the Judge of Compensation              benefits after November 1, 2007 and
    Claims, Case No. 06-011691HHH                    permanent total disability benefits as of
        This case is a significant win for the       September 30, 2007.
City, as permanent total disability is paid for
the duration of the claimant’s life and a
potential liability to the City of over

Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                  17 
 
 


TRIAL COURT UPHOLDS CITY’S                      another date of accident he intended to
DENIAL         OF       ALL       FUTURE        pursue against the City. The savings to the
WORKER’S                 COMPENSATION           City including attorney’s fees and costs
BENEFITS
                                                range in the vicinity of $75,000.
    Charlie Brown vs. City of Miami
    Office of the Judge of Compensation
                                                COMPENSATION CLAIM DENIED
    Claims, Case No. 08-021736CMH
        The claimant filed a Petition for           Orlando Valdes vs. City of Miami
Benefits seeking ongoing medical treatment,         Office of the Judge of Compensation
a refund of all co-payments (on the basis           Claims, Case No. 07-0363980SMS
that co-payments are unconstitutional),                 The Judge denied authorization for
attorney’s fees and cost. The Court agreed      bilateral carpal tunnel release surgery
with the City’s defense of the claim on the     recommended by the claimant’s authorized
grounds that the claimant had not received
                                                treating physician, attorney’s fees and costs.
medical treatment or payment of indemnity
benefits for over a year, and the statute of    The City established that the claimant never
limitations had run on his claim.               actually injured his wrists as a result of the
                                                compensable accident and that the accident
COMPENSATION CLAIM DENIED                       was not the major contributing cause of the
    Felix L. Zuaznabar vs. City of Miami        need for treatment, despite the strong
    Office of the Judge of Compensation         testimony of the authorized treating
    Claims, Case No. 09-008846HH                physician. The claimant was also seeking
        The Judge denied temporary partial      treatment for the right shoulder, since this
disability benefits from March 18, 2009         ruling he has not pursued, in light of the
through June 17, 2009, July 17, 2009            Judge finding that he lacked credibility. By
through July 26, 2009 and August 24, 2009       prevailing in this matter the City has
through September 25, 2009; penalties and       curtailed a significant amount of medical
interest on unpaid benefits; and attorney’s     treatment that was being recommended by
fees and costs. The City refused to pay this    the authorized physician, including very
claim on a very difficult and rarely used       expensive epidural steroid injections to be
provision where an employer can deny            performed by a pain management physician.
benefits due to employee’s termination from     The claim has been relatively dormant. The
the employment for misconduct. The Judge        savings to the City in medical benefits,
accepted the City’s position and found that     indemnity exposure and future benefits
the claimant was terminated for misconduct      exceeds $75,000.
under Florida Statute 440.02(18). This win
was significant, because the settlement value   ORDER ENTERED FOR CITY
of the case was drastically reduced as no           Stephen N. Kiraly vs. City of Miami
indemnity benefits will ever be due                 Office of the Judge of Compensation
eliminating the possibility of payment of           Claims, Case No. 07-026115CMH
temporary benefits.       Additionally, the             The Judge entered an Order in favor
defense attorney voluntarily dismissed          of the City denying claimant reimbursement

    18                                                    Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 


for more than 73,000 miles travel to the gym     found the treating physician’s opinion
from August 1, 1993 through December 31,         unreliable and not logical. Attorney’s fees
2007. The Judge also denied authorization        and costs were denied, and all Petitions for
                                                 Benefits were dismissed.
and payment of an orthopedic massage chair
and attorney’s fees and costs. The City
                                                 SUMMARY JUDGMENT GRANTED
raised the defense of laches and prejudice to    FOR CITY
the claim for mileage reimbursement and
                                                     Miguel Narganes, Jr. vs. City of Miami
lack of causation between the claimant’s             Office of the Judge of Compensation
need for the chair (related to his back) and         Claims, Case No. 08-013662HHH
the compensable condition which was the                  The claimant filed a Petition for
knee. The Judge heard the City’s argument        Benefits seeking compensability under the
which is unprecedented because no recorded       Heart and Lung Bill for heart disease and
cases in worker’s compensation exist where       payment of medical bills related to several
laches has been raised as a defense to deny      bypass surgeries claimant incurred as a
                                                 result of a heart attack after the claimant
benefits; laches has only been used in cases
                                                 retired from the City. The claimant’s health
involving attorney’s fees. This victory          insurance, the FOP Health Trust, had
represents a savings to the City exceeding       refused to pay the medical bills on the basis
$50,000.                                         that the claimant had preexisting heart
                                                 disease or hypertension prior to retiring from
JUDGE RULED FOR CITY                             the City. The trial court granted the City’s
                                                 Motion for Summary Final Order denying
    Orlando Valdes vs. City of Miami             the    compensability     of     the    claim.
    Office of the Judge of Compensation          Subsequently, the FOP Health Trust agreed
    Claims, Case No. 07-036380SMS                to pay the medical bills which exceeded
        The claimant filed a Petition for        $500,000.
Benefits after sustaining a compensable
accident to his neck and low back. Claimant      CITY RECOUPS BENEFITS PAID TO
requested additional treatment to his hands      EMPLOYEE
for bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. The
claimant maintained that he initially injured        City of Miami as subrogee of
his hands in the original fall and reinjured         Michaelle Bell vs. Jeffrey Lee Call
his hands when he fell on his way to a               and James Warren Call
medical appointment. The City denied the             Miami Dade County Circuit Court, Case
treatment as not being related to the original       No. 09-25846 CA-25
incident or any subsequent falls, but being              This was a subrogation action filed
personal in nature.          The Judge of        by the City to recover workers’
Compensation Claims denied the claimant’s        compensation benefits provided to a City
request for additional treatment to the hands.   employee for injuries resulting from an in-
The Judge found that claimant lacked             service automobile accident.         Damage
credibility as he had been less than truthful    caused to the City vehicle was in the amount
with the treating physician about prior          of $4,839.00, which was paid by Allstate
accidents, and accepted the opinion of the       Insurance, the insurer of the adverse
City’s independent medical examiner over         vehicle's insurer. The City had paid a total
the authorized treating physician. The Judge     of $34,691.50 in workers' compensation

Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                             19 
 
 


benefits to employee. Section 440.39(3),            City suspended the payment of permanent
F.S., allows an employer to sue for the             total disability benefits and the claimant
employee's injuries during the second year          filed a Petition for Benefits requesting
after an accident. The matter was settled           reinstatement of the benefits. After years of
with the City recouping its entire lien, plus       litigation, the Judge upheld the denial of all
$5,308.50 in attorney's fees and costs.             benefits including permanent total and
                                                    medical treatment. The claimant appealed
APPEAL COURT DISMISSES CLAIM                        to the First District Court of Appeal which
    Jose Rubio vs. City of Miami                    was dismissed pursuant to the claimant’s
    Office of the Judge of Compensation             voluntary dismissal.
    Claims, Case No. 94-006395HHH; 95-
    006395HHH
        The claimant filed a Notice of
Appeal after the Judge of Compensation
claims upheld the City’s administrative
denial of permanent total disability based on
fraud.     The     Claimant     had      been
administratively accepted as permanent and
totally disabled by the City pursuant to the
Heart and Lung Bill on August 14, 1997.
Surveillance revealed that the claimant was
working as a musician and not reporting his
income to the City. On July 26, 2001, the


QUALITY OF LIFE & ENVIRONMENT

   This practice area relates to providing a safe, sustainable and clean community, and includes
Land Use, Zoning, Planning, Building, Code Enforcement, Environmental Law, Nuisance
Abatement, Historic Preservation, and Sustainable Initiatives.
   Significant legal work was also performed in the area of comprehensive planning, finalizing
and implementing a world recognized form-based zoning code – Miami 21. Also, this practice
group created a regulatory scheme that satisfied the interest of the community and the City’s
administration in ridding its neighborhoods of graffiti. One of the more significant cases related
to quality of life in Miami involved the sexual offenders residing under the Julia Tuttle
Causeway. This litigation sought to rid the City of the serious public health and safety
conditions under the causeway by suing the State of Florida and its agencies to enjoin the
maintenance of a public nuisance.
    The Office of the City Attorney has worked with the Departments of Code Enforcement,
Information Technology, and Hearing Boards to implement a system whereby within ninety (90)
days after a Code Enforcement lien is filed, the Office of the City Attorney will be notified to
begin the collection process. This process includes sending demand letters to the property owner
as well as conducting a title search and asset search on the parcel(s). When the title and asset

    20                                                        Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 


searches are completed, a memorandum is sent to the City Manager setting out the options to
collect on the lien (foreclosure, money judgment, injunctive relief, etc.). The City Attorney
proceeds after the direction from the City Manager.
    For this reporting period, the Code Enforcement Board “CEB” and Special Masters held 55
separate hearings; 527 cases were prosecuted before the CEB or Special Masters, and a finding
of guilt was made in 525 of those cases.
  Code Enforcement cases are prosecuted by our Office at the CEB and in front of Special
Masters. The cases include:

            No. of Cases                                          Violations
                      75              Work completed without a permit.
                      65              Tree removal/trimming/root pruning without the required permit.
                      52              Illegal units.
                      14              Illegally maintaining or depositing junk or trash.
                      37              Failure to maintain exterior of commercial or residential property.
                                      Failure to maintain lot in a safe, clean condition, not allowing
                      37
                                      accumulation of debris, trash or dense growth.
                      22              Graffiti on property.
                      31              Vacant, blighted, unsecured or abandoned structure.
                      37              Failure to register a vacant structure.

    Our land use and zoning staff attorneys manage the myriad of legal issues that arise with all
building and development in the City. This reporting period we have processed projects in-
house on City properties that, in the past, were shepherded by private attorneys. Those projects
were:
 The replat of the future Marlins Ballpark             and Miami River Marine Group Inc.
    site;                                               related to the adoption of the Evaluation
                                                        and Appraisal Report.
 The Substantial Modification to the
    Marlin’s Major Use Special Permit
    (MUSP);
 Florida Power & Light Turkey Point
    Plant and Transmission Line expansion;
 Amendments to Chapter 23 of the City
    Code (“Historic Preservation”) in
    various significant respects including
    processes for transfer of development
    rights; and
 Positive conclusion of a settlement with
    the Department of Community Affairs



Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                              21 
 
 



CONTRACTS & PROCUREMENT

    The work of the staff attorneys in this practice area touches upon all aspects of commercial
and financial transactions. In the reporting period, approximately 1021 contracts were reviewed
totaling $480,002,902 in valuation.
   The staff attorneys not only respond to a myriad of requests for legal advice, but also
negotiate and draft contracts and advise on financial matters, both straight forward and complex.
Some of the projects include:
     Successful collaboration with the                Extensive legal support for the
      County Tax collector’s office to                  creation of the MiMo Business
      bring      a    Memorandum        of              Improvement District;
      Understanding to the City and                    Work, in concert with Capital
      County for approval, allowing the                 Improvement Program, to cure the
      County Tax collector to assume                    defaults of contractor who are
      responsibility for collecting the                 removing sensitive fill material from
      Coconut Grove BID assessments;                    Dinner Key; and
     Creation of the Rockerman Canal                  Coordination of the process and
      special assessment district;                      extensive research for legislation
     Negotiation      and       sale   of              related to the City’s Ad Valorem Tax
      condominiums         within      the              Exemption       Program     and     its
      Courthouse Plaza Garage for Miami                 implementation.
      Parking Authority;
     Creation of lease agreements for the
      performers and promoters at Gusman
      Center and update of decades old
      procedural forms;

    Again noteworthy during the reporting period in the area of municipal bond finance is the
work of Assistant City Attorney Robin Jones Jackson. Her extensive experience in public
finance on Wall Street and as an outside public finance counsel, and her particular expertise in
bond compliance issues have made a significant impact for the City that has resulted in costs
savings and positive contributions in the area of bond compliance. Working with City
administration staff, financial advisors, outside bond counsel, underwriters counsel, and
disclosure counsel, she represented the City’s interests in the following public finance matters:
     Closing in July 2009 of $37,435,000              Closing in November 2009 of
      City of Miami, Florida Non-Ad                     $65,000,000 City of Miami, Florida
      Valorem Refunding Revenue Bonds,                  Special Obligation Bonds, Series
      Taxable    Pension   Series   2009;               2009     (Street  and    Sidewalk
                                                        Improvement Program);

    22                                                        Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 


    Closing     of   $15,000,000    Bond              Potential leveraging of Miami Parking
     Anticipation Note as a bridge loan in              Authority assets of approximately
     anticipation of ongoing financing of               $120,000,000 through taxable and tax-
     not to exceed $120,000,000 in City of              exempt financings involving capital
     Miami, Florida Special Obligation                  projects, reserve funds, contractual
     Parking Revenue Bonds, Series 2009                 liabilities, and other projects of the
     (Marlins Stadium Project) (closing                 City      and    MPA      (transactions
     anticipated at end of July or early                anticipated in September 2010).
     August, 2010); and

GENERAL GOVERNMENT & PUBLIC SAFETY
    Although all attorneys who practice in the Office of the City Attorney provide advice to the
elected and appointed officials in the areas of Sunshine, Public Records, Ethics, and Conflict of
Interest, staff attorneys who practice in this area handle the bulk of legal work required by the
City’s Community Redevelopment Agencies (“CRA”), and all legal issues related to conduct
municipal elections. Significant accomplishments in the area of general government law
included: Legal work performed in support of the approval by the CRA, City and Miami-Dade
County of the “Finding of Necessity” and Amended Redevelopment Plan(s), for the boundary
expansion and extension of the life of both the Southeast Overtown Park West CRA and OMNI
CRA.
    In the area of public safety, Assistant City Attorney George K. Wysong provided valuable
counsel and advice to Police Chief and senior staff, who are responsible for the management and
supervision of approximately 1,100 sworn police officers and 400 civilians. Additionally, as the
police legal advisor, Mr. Wysong represented the City’s legal interests by:
         Counseling the administration                Advising the Police Department
          regarding the implementation of               regarding the re-implementation of the
          the Traffic Infraction Detector               Vehicle     Impoundment        Program-
          (Red Light camera) program; and               including legislative changes.




Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                    23 
 
 



DEVELOPMENT & AFFORDABLE HOUSING

    Listed below are some of the significant accomplishments for this reporting period in the
areas of Private/Public Partnership, Real Estate and Economic Development, Asset Management
and Affordable Housing:
 Closing the highly contentious                        professional and online services, and
    Tacolcy hurricane repair project,                   maintenance and product support for
    which was funded with the                           various ESRI products;
    Department of Housing and Urban                   Negotiating and drafting in concert
    Development (“HUD”), Disaster                       with the Public Facilities Department,
    Recovery funds;                                     documents with Hyatt Equities, LLC,
 Effecting distribution of more than                   and legislation, for the procurement of
    $13,000,000 in affordable housing                   equipment and services necessary to
    construction     loans,     including               replace the chiller plant and related
    preparation of loan documentation                   equipment at the Miami Convention
    for 11 new affordable housing                       Center; and
    projects;                                         Drafting standard documentation for
 Preparing          and        executing               use in connection with the
    documentation for acquisition of the                Community                Development
    property located at 1814 Brickell                   Department’s implementation of a
    Avenue, for a public park;                          homebuyer Equity Sharing Program
 Representing          the       Finance               and a homebuyer Down-payment
    Department in the negotiation,                      Assistance Program funded with
    drafting and approval of an                         Neighborhood Stabilization Program
    agreement with Wachovia Bank,                       funds.
    N.A. for the issuance of a $50
    million Letter of Credit in
    connection with the Port Tunnel
    project;
 Advising the City Manager’s Office on
    the federal and Florida Workforce
    Programs, and the City’s application
    for Workforce funding;
 Representing the Department of
    Information Technology in extensive
    negotiations    with     Environmental
    Systems Research Institute, Inc.
    (ESRI) for the acquisition of GIS
    software licenses, training and

    24                                                      Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010

 
 



INTERNSHIP PROGRAM



                                          For the 7th consecutive year, the Office of the City
                                    Attorney offered the opportunity for second and third year
                                    law students to participate as interns during their Fall, Spring
                                    and Summer Semesters. Our Office offers a highly
                                    competitive and coveted internship, with hundreds of
                                    applications a year.      This program is viewed as an
                                    unparalleled opportunity to explore a career in the
                                    challenging practice of municipal law. Students gain
                                    practical legal experience by working closely with
                                    experienced attorney supervisors on a variety of substantive
                                    legal matters including, civil litigation, land use, labor and
                                    employment, commercial and general government law.
Students from local area law schools, other Florida law schools, and higher tier law schools
outside of Florida, such as Emory, Columbia, and the like, have worked in the Office over the
years. Students comply with their school’s clinical program guidelines, while participating in the
internship. During the reporting period more than 30 interns participated in this program.




Reporting Period: July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2010                                                    25 
232276_13 

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:120
posted:3/15/2011
language:English
pages:26