Jeff Cazeau explains it all!

In response to North Miami mayoral candidate Hector Medina’s complaint about Mayor Smith Joseph’s sponsorship of today’s Farm Share event, City Attorney Jeff Cazeau (who is an actual lawyer as opposed to someone who plays one on TV) weighed in.

In a letter, citing case law, Mr. Cazeau explained:

Based upon my review of the facts, the Event is not a campaign event and has not been advertised as such. Therefore, City resources can be used to support the Event. As you know, the Event was held last year in May as part of Haitian Heritage month. Last year’s event was advertised in the exact same manner as it is being advertised this year. In fact, the flyers from May 2016 are almost exactly the same as the flyers used in May 2017 and contain most of the same graphics and information. Moreover, none of the advertisements for the Event mention the upcoming election nor do they characterize the Mayor “as the great benefactor” or the “champion of the needy” as stated in your complaint. This language also does not appear on the City’s website or Facebook page.

The gravamen of your complaint is that Mayor Smith, while performing his official duties as Mayor, has an advantage over you and is deriving incidental benefits to his campaign. This is always the case when a candidate is also an incumbent. In other, similar, situations, Courts have recognized that while these incidental benefits may exist, ” incidental benefits” to the incumbent as a candidate is not enough to prove an ethical violation. See Blackburn v. State, 589 so.2d 431 (1st DCA 1991).

In this case, the Event is a regularly scheduled activity that is part of the Mayor’s official duties. So long as the Event is a valid City event, there is no basis to surmise that the Mayor’s or the City’s actions are illegal or unethical.

Mr. Cazeau ended his letter by stating, “If you disagree with this opinion you are free to file a complaint with the proper authorities.”

In other words…

BOOM!

Just saying.

Stephanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jeff Cazeau eksplike li tout!

An repons a plent North Miami majistra-a pran kandida Hector Medina a sou parennaj Majistra Smith Jozèf la nan Farm pataje evènman jodi a, Pwokirè City Jeff Cazeau (ki se yon avoka aktyèl kòm opoze a yon moun ki moun ki jwe yon sèl sou TV) te peze nan.

Nan yon premye lèt, site lalwa a, Mesye Cazeau eksplike:

Ki baze sou revizyon m ‘lan nan enfòmasyon yo, Evènman an se pa yon evènman kanpay epi yo pa te pibliye kòm sa yo. Se poutèt sa, resous City ka itilize yo sipòte evènman an. Kòm ou konnen, yo te Evènman an ki te fèt ane pase a nan mwa me kòm yon pati nan mwa Eritaj ayisyen an. Te evènman ane pase a pibliye nan egzak menm jan an kòm li se ke yo te pibliye ane sa a. An reyalite, avyatè yo soti nan Me 2016 se prèske egzakteman menm jan avyatè yo itilize nan mwa me 2017 yo epi yo genyen pi fò nan grafik yo ki menm ak enfòmasyon. Anplis, pa youn nan reklam yo pou evènman an mansyone eleksyon k ap vini ni yo karakterize Majistra a “kòm byenfeteur nan gwo” oswa “chanpyon an nan moun ki nan bezwen” jan sa endike nan plent ou a. lang sa a tou pa parèt sou sit entènèt Vil la oswa Facebook paj.

Gravamen a nan plent ou se ke Majistra Smith, pandan y ap fè travay ofisyèl li kòm Majistra, gen yon avantaj sou ou epi li se dekoulan benefis okazyonèl nan kanpay l ‘yo. Sa a se toujou ka a lè yon kandida se tou yon incombe. Nan lòt, menm jan an, sitiyasyon, Tribinal te rekonèt ke pandan ke sa yo benefis okazyonèl ka egziste, “benefis okazyonèl” nan incombe a kòm yon kandida se pa ase yo pwouve yon vyolasyon etik. Wè blackburn v. Eta a, 589 so.2d 431 (1ye DCA 1991).

Nan ka sa a, evènman an se yon aktivite pwograme regilyèman ki se yon pati nan travay ofisyèl Majistra a. Se konsa, lontan ke Evènman an se yon evènman City valab, pa gen okenn baz suppose ke aksyon Vil la Majistra a oswa ou se ilegal oswa immoral.

Mesye Cazeau te fini lèt li pa ki deklare, “Si ou dakò avèk sa a opinyon ou yo gratis yo pote yon plent ak otorite yo apwopriye.”

Nan lòt mo …

KOU APOULAW!

Jis di.

Stephanie

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One Comment

  1. Dean says:

    Sure, this is not technically illegal, but this a common practice (such as handing out turkeys at thanksgiving , etc.) among elected officials to curry favor among constituents who associate the gift with the politician rather than charitable organization or taxpayers who pay for it.. this gives an unfair advantage to incumbents.

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