After he managed to get himself canned from the Florida City Police Department for incompetence, and no other department would hire him, Marcellus tried his hand at politics. It was nothing short of a miracle that he won a seat on the North Miami City Council in 2009. Instead of staying put, he decided to step down from that seat in 2013 to run for mayor.
That was only his first mistake. The second was appointing himself as Campaign Treasurer.
Not only did he come in fifth place out of a crowded field of seven contenders, but he mismanaged his campaign so badly, the Florida Elections Commission just slapped him with a whopping $6,800.00 in fines for violating campaign finance laws.
But the craziest part of this saga is the excuse he tried to use as his defense, proving for once and for all that Jean Marcellus is even too stupid to lie effectively.
On January 26, 2013, Marcellus entered into a Business Lease with Unique Enterprises of Miami, Inc. for the purpose of renting an office for his campaign headquarters. His rent was $1,500.00 per month. The five month lease was to begin on February 1, 2013 and end on June 30, 2013 after the election was over.
According to the Complaint filed with the Florida Elections Commission, the landlord stated that even though Marcellus reported issuing four checks for rent on his Campaign Treasurer’s Reports, he actually only made three payments. The landlord also claimed that during the term of the lease three of his checks bounced. Marcellus strung the landlord along for nine months by promising to pay what he owed. The landlord finally got tired of waiting and filed a formal complaint in March of last year.
As the Miami Herald reported, Marcellus eventually paid $4,500.00 of the $6,000.00 he owed to the landlord, but declined to speak with reporter Lance Dixon, claiming “he wanted to get more details from his attorney.”
Regardless of what Jean Marcellus’ attorney has to say (if he even hired one), the Florida Elections Commission Report of Investigation tells quite the story.
Investigation Specialist Margie B. Wade noted that the Commission had to determine if Marcellus violated Florida Statutes Section 106.11(4) and 106.19(1)(d).
In a nutshell, these Statutes prohibit candidates from bouncing campaign checks.
Ms. Wade determined that three of Jean’s rent checks did, in fact, bounce, including the very first check he wrote when he entered into the lease. Copies of bank statements attached as exhibits show that he didn’t have sufficient funds in the account at that time.
Despite the fact that the Business Lease clearly states that the five month term of the lease is from February 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013, Marcellus told Ms. Wade that his “campaign only rented the space for four months.”
Marcellus also ignored a questionnaire affidavit mailed to him regarding his insufficient funds.
Ms. Wade also noted that this case had also been referred to the State Attorney’s Office, who shockingly ordered Marcellus to pay restitution to the landlord.
Apparently, Katherine Fernandez Rundle considers Jean Marcellus to be “less equal” than a certain North Miami Beach EX-Mayor, who’s been treated with kid gloves.
On January 23, 2015, Florida Elections Commission’s Assistant General Counsel Stephanie J. Cunningham filed a Staff Recommendation Following Investigation. She noted that in addition to the rent checks, Marcellus also bounced checks “on 31 other occasions during January and March, 2013.”
Here’s the kicker, though. Despite Marcellus’ claim that “his account was overdrawn because some of his contribution checks bounced,” Ms. Cunningham wrote that his “bank records do not appear to show any check deposits which were returned due to insufficient funds.”
In other words, Jean Marcellus just made up shit as he went along.
Did he actually think the Commission’s investigators would believe his story without verifying the facts? Seriously?
Only a real idiot would think that Ms. Wade wouldn’t be able to confirm whether or not “some of his contribution checks bounced.”
Scarier still, this man was a cop at one time.
Needless to say, the Florida Elections Commission found probable cause to charge Jean Marcellus with 68 counts of violating Florida Statutes regarding campaign finance laws, and fined him $100.00 for each count. He now has a judgment against him for $6,800.00.
Good luck with collecting that money.
It took the Florida Elections Commission less than one year from the time the original complaint against Jean Marcellus was filed on March 31, 2014 to issue an Order of Probable Cause on March 20, 2015.
Meanwhile, because Myron Rosner apparently keeps Ben Kuehne on retainer, he’s been able to avoid having his case be heard by the FEC since 2011, when the original complaints were filed against him.
Miami State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle also jumped all over the Marcellus case to make sure justice was served swiftly.
Yet Myron’s case has been languishing in her office since his arrest on September 20, 2012 nearly three years ago.
I guess Myron is way “more equal” than Jean Marcellus.
Exactly one month to the day after the FEC filed an Order of Probable Cause, Marcellus decided to run for mayor again.
By paying his filing fee with a check that bounced.
And disqualifying himself from the race.