Three of the five law firms seeking the lucrative Tamarac City Attorney contract have the support of Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness and his allies, records show. On Wednesday, the Tamarac City Commission will discuss submissions from Fox Rothschild LLP, Michael Garcia P.A., Ottinot Law P.A., Abrams Law and Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell. Last month, REDBROWARD revealed attorneys for Ottinot Law and Michael Garcia P.A. are listed on the Austin Pamies Norris Weeks and Powell website.
Founded in Philadelphia in 1905, Fox Rothschild LLP and its team of 950 lawyers should be the frontrunners for any city attorney position. John Herin, the managing partner of Fox Rothschild LLP Miami boasts a superb resume. His professional references include the City of Hollywood, the City of Sarasota, the City of Fort Myers Beach, the City of Biscayne Park and the City of Doral.
But this is Tamarac, so sadly, Fox Rothschild LLP has no chance.
Likewise for Abrams Law of Fort Lauderdale. As former members of law firms with experience in municipal and land use law, Ryan Abrams and Theron Simmons should be serious contenders for the City of Tamarac job. Their professional references include government attorneys from the Monroe County School Board and Pompano Beach, as well as the former Monroe School Superintendent and clerks from the Key Largo Fire Department.
But this is Marlon Bolton’s Tamarac. Sorry Abrams Law.
Judging from its proposal, Michael Garcia P.A. is not making a good first impression. All candidates are required to submit proof of liability insurance. For most of the proposals, the proof is two or three pages showing policy information. But Michael Garcia P.A. included nearly one hundred pages of liability insurance information as well as automobile insurance paperwork. Not very environmentally friendly Michael Garcia P.A.
But this is Tamarac so that will not hurt Garcia. What really helps Michael Garcia P.A. are his friends. Garcia lists Miramar City Commissioner Maxwell Chambers as a professional reference.
Two weeks ago, Chambers endorsed Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness at congressional campaign announcement. Tamarac Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin also endorsed Dale Holness at the campaign kickoff.
In February 2020, Commissioner Elberg Mike Gelin made a $1,000 contribution to Maxwell Chambers re-election campaign.
But Michael Garcia has more than a Miramar Commissioner in his corner.
FRIENDS OF MARLON BOLTON
In March, REDBROWARD revealed ties between Michael Garcia and Anthony Bonamy, the operator of the Tamarac Post website. This website repeatedly shills for Tamarac Commissioners Bolton, Gelin, Elvin Villalobos as well as Dale Holness.
State records show Garcia and Bonamy formed the Small Business Alliance PAC in January 2019. Bonamy was named as treasurer. After receiving numerous “fail to file” campaign finance records warnings, Michael Garcia told the Division of Elections neither he nor Bonamy had the “time to properly maintain” the political committee. It is unclear if the committee raised or spent any funds before disbanding.
In a November 2020 video of North Lauderdale Commissioner Regina Martin’s election night party obtained by REDBROWARD, Marlon Bolton hugs Michael Garcia as local news declared Martin’s victory. Eleven days later Regina Martin and Marlon Bolton urged the North Lauderdale commissioners to hire Anthony Bonamy. Earlier this month, Bonamy lost his job as North Lauderdale deputy city clerk after the revelations of his continued political work.
Now here’s where it gets very confusing.
As of today, Michael Garcia is listed as an attorney with the Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell law firm. Founded by former Broward Supervisor Of Elections attorney Burnadette Norris Weeks, Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell is another applicant for the City of Tamarac job. Norris Weeks is a longtime ally of County Commissioner Dale Holness. While Holness is not listed as a professional reference, Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell does list Brenda Snipes.
Another of Burnadette Norris Weeks’ professional references is Miramar City Commissioner Alexandra Davis. Two weeks ago, Davis joined Elberg Mike Gelin at Dale Holness’ campaign kickoff. Like Chambers, Gelin and Norris Weeks, Alexandra Davis is a longtime ally of Dale Holness. In March, Alexandra Davis joined Dale Holness and Tamarac Commissioner Marlon Bolton at a party hosted by Jamaican General Consul Oliver Mair.
Another attorney listed on the Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell website is State Representative Dotie Joseph. Last month, REDBROWARD reported Joseph paid Bonamy $600 for consulting on her 2018 campaign for the Florida Legislature.
But here’s more confusion. While Joseph is listed online as a lawyer with Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell, her name is included in the Tamarac proposal submitted by Tamarac interim city attorney Hans Ottinot.
How can Dotie Joseph be part of Austin Pamies and Ottinot Law P.A.? This is Tamarac.
Ottinot has a big ace in the hole. Besides the undying support of Gelin, Bolton and Villalobos, Ottinot lists Dale Holness as a professional reference.
And in an example of sheer arrogance, Ottinot includes a puff piece from The Tamarac Post in his proposal. Maybe that was Marlon Bolton’s idea?
Oddly enough, Ottinot lists State Representative Omari Hardy as a “client reference.” On Wednesday, Hardy announced his campaign for the same Congressional seat as Dale Holness.
Did anyone tell Ottinot?
Why is Team Dale Holness so interested in controlling the City of Tamarac?
Is Team Dale Holness trying to rig to process in order to maintain control of the City?
Does anyone care?
Will anyone stand up to Team Dale Holness?
Love your reporting
Sent from my iPhone
And, yet, at Elvin Villalobos’ recommendation and with the support of the Mayor they, in fact, chose the Fox Rothschild firm. While I am no fan of at least a couple of the Commissioners, contrary to your prediction they made the right decision here. If you are going to write a piece of this length and attempt to accuse them of deciding in advance to choose one of the politically-posed firms you suggest they should not and in fact, they choose the firm that you suggest is the best (and claim they would never choose that firm), the least you should do for honest news reporting is do a follow up confirming that the Commission and Mayor did, in fact, select the Fox Rothschild firm.
we did. two weeks ago. thanks—ed.
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