On the North Miami Beach City Council Agenda for the June 16, 2015 meeting held last night, “Councilman” Frantz Pierre requested to be reimbursed for attorney’s fees he incurred in the past on two separate occasions.
During the 2009 City Council election, he sued his challenger, Kenneth Defilippo, who erroneously filed to run for another seat even though he intended to file to run against Frantzie. Frantz wanted to run unopposed. He hired attorney Joe Geller to kick Kenny out of the race. He lost.
In the silliest letter you ever saw (page 162 of the Agenda), Frantzie wrote, “The judge decided not to take action but pledged to do so after the elections. I won the elections. The law suit became purposeless. The clerk then decided to resign amid his negligence and embarrassment. I believe that, without a shadow of doubt, the City should reimburse me the $3500 dollars that I paid to [Geller’s firm] Greenspoon Marder.”
For the record, former City Clerk Sol Odenz did NOT resign “amid his negligence and embarrassment.” He resigned because of other reasons. Frantzie had nothing to do with it.
It should also be noted that Kenny ” lost” the election by only 15 votes, and only due to a highly suspicious absentee ballot count.
Which brings me to Frantzie’s second request for the reimbursement of legal fees, the reason for which he claims “is more ridiculous.”
The P Man is asking the city to reimburse him for $4,585.00 of attorney’s fees he incurred to – guess who? – Myron Rosner’s and Lucie Tondreau’s go-to CRIMINAL attorney, Benedict P. Kuehne!
In 2012, Frantzie asked Ben to represent him when “A former NMB resident, a blogger, decided to infringe my voting rights and suppress those of my immediate family members. She made an ethics complaint after she fought unsuccessfully with the City.”
Guess which blogger he’s talking about.
What Frantzie meant by my decision to “infringe” his “voting rights,” is that I filed an official complaint with the city that he was “in violation of City Ordinance No. 92-9 by having more than three persons living in his home who are not related by birth, adoption, or marriage.”
At the time, the Interim City Manager was Roslyn Weisblum, who refused to enforce the city’s own laws!
The reason Roz did so was that she had hoped to be hired as the permanent City Manager, and she wasn’t about to make waves with a sitting council member who would be one of the seven people to make that decision.
As such, I took my complaint to the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, which passed the buck back to the city, claiming it wasn’t their job to enforce city ordinances.
In a memo from Karl Ross, the ethics investigator, to Miriam Ramos, deputy ethics advocate (page 170 of the Agenda), the Commission’s opinion was that “many if not all of the individuals in question had, in fact, lived at the Pierre residence at one time or another and that, consequently, no violation of state elections law could be proven.”
However, it wasn’t the responsibility of the Ethics Commission to force the Interim City Manager to do her job.
The one she never ended up getting anyway.
Talk about poetic justice.
And by his own admission, L’il Frantzie P still has EIGHT REGISTERED VOTERS living in his home.
Who “vote” by absentee ballot.
Which is one of the reasons he keeps getting “re-elected.”
In a letter dated February 25, 2015 to Deputy City Attorney Dotie Joseph (page 168 of the Agenda), Ben Kuehne claims that he represented Frantz Pierre to defend him against my complaint, which “was submitted for political reasons.”
Sure, Ben. It’s all political!
Keuhne also claims that he spoke with former City Attorney Darcee Siegel about the matter, and that it was his “understanding with the City Attorney that the City of North Miami Beach agreed to be responsible” for his bill.
And yet, he “did not believe a formal engagement letter was necessary” nor did he “receive written confirmation from the City” regarding the payment of his legal fees because – get this – he “never thought one was needed!”
Unfortunately for Big Ben, current City Attorney Jose Smith had contacted Darcee Siegel, who advised him she NEVER requested that Ben Kuehne represent Frantz Pierre, nor did she promise to pay his fees.
Memo to Ben Kuehne: THIS ISN’T NORTH MIAMI! You don’t call the shots in NMB!
Although City Attorney Jose Smith recommended that the city pay Frantzie’s legal bill from Ben Kuehne in the amount of $4,585.00, he made it clear “that it is a decision that can only be made by the City Council.”
The City Council’s response?
Karma’s always a bitch.
“Spreading the Wealth”