AUGUST 17, 2015

I believe that the weight of hypocrisy that fuels the operation of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, aka, The Unethical Ethics Commission or, The Lack of Ethics Commission is finally beginning to catch up with this clown show.

Last week’s meeting was a new low for a public agency that is pissing away close to $2 million of your taxpayer dollars pretending that they are the moral arbiters of ethical behavior in Miami-Dade County.

Far and away the best part of last week’s meeting was when retired Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Schwartz chastised the Commission’s Advocate Michael Murwaski for the language he used in his draft Letter Of Reprimand to Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez that he had submitted to the members of the Commission for approval.

Hernandez, who was the subject of a trial by the Commission several months ago over his alleged lying about the loans he gave to Hialeah Ponzi schemer Luis Felipe Perez, was found guilty by the Commission and hit with a $4000 fine and a Letter Of Reprimand, that was drafted by Murawski, and required Commission approval before it could be sent.

As always, the videotape of what happened when this letter came up for discussion and a vote is priceless on multiple levels.  The relevant portion is only 2:48.  Here it is:

You have to appreciate that a couple months ago Murawski got a pay raise and since then Dusty Melton and I have established that Murwaski lied and grossly misrepresented the facts, including the specific allegation in my ethics complaint against Donald Trump, his assistant Ed Russo and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and now he’s chastised for the quality of his work product.

To help you better appreciate Murawski choice of language, here is a copy of his draft Letter Of Reprimand.

Murawski is without question a real piece of work,
and going all the way back to the January 2011 meeting of the Ethics Commission where Murawski was accused of inappropriate behavior by then Commission CPA Christina Seymour, he seems to apply and display a combination of religious moralism with a flagrant pattern of behavior that ignores and violates the tenants of all religions not to lie or cheat.

Murawski, as evidenced both in the Trump case and in numerous other cases, will lie and cheat in a heart beat.  Here is the Seymour video in case you’ve never seen it before.


But enough of Carlos Hernandez, let get to Lawrence Schwartz and his continuing childish behavior of walking out of the room when I stand up to speak, and then throwing into disarray the portion of the meeting where the Commission was supposed to discuss and vote on the Letter Of Instruction to Donald Trump’s assistant Ed Russo.


Retired Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Schwartz doesn’t like me, and I’m not particularly fond of him either. We’ve both made our opinions known whenever I’ve appeared before the Ethic Commission. There is one thing however that sets Schwartz’s dislike of me in a very different light.


Lawrence Schwartz is, as a member of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, a member of a public body and subject to the laws that govern all of the people who sit on public bodies.

Schwartz can dislike me all he wants, but he can’t use that dislike to violate my rights, or to engage in unethical or illegal behavior in order to act on that dislike.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what he’s doing, and in the process he’s now created a very serious problem for both himself and the other members of the Ethics Commission.

As I wrote after last month’s meeting, Schwartz took offense to comments I made about him and in response he stated that from that day on he would recuse himself from anything coming before the Commission that had anything to do with me.

I provided video tape of his making that statement, and then walking out of the room when the Commission discussed the Ethics Complaints that I had filed against Donald Trump, Ed Russo and Mayor Carlos Gimenez in Part II of my story last month.

That was last month.

Last week, even though Schwartz had all but promised to resign from the Commission, he showed up and again proceeded to walk out of the room when I got up to speak during the Public Comments, and then created a problem when the Draft Letter of Instruction to Ed Russo was supposed to be discussed and voted on, because by stating that he was recusing himself last month, and then having that recusal acknowledged in the minutes of that meeting, which was voted on as the first order of business at last week’s meeting, it turned out that because there were only 3 Commission members present, Schwartz’s recusal meant that the Commission couldn’t hear the item because they didn’t have a quorum

As I pointed out in Part II of my series after last months meeting, Schwartz never seems to have bothered to acquaint himself with Florida’s Sunshine Law, because if he had, he would have read in Section 286.012 (F.S.) that:

“No member of any state, county or municipal governmental board, commission or agency who is present at any meeting of any such body at which an official decision, ruling, or other official act is to be taken or adopted may abstain from voting...a vote shall be recorded or counted for each such member present, except when, with respect to any such member, there is, or appears to be, a possible conflict of interest under...s. 112,311, 112,313, or s. 112.3143, F.S.”

For purposes of definition:

Section 112.3143(3)(a), F.S., prohibits a county, municipal, or other local public officer from voting on any measure which inures to his or her special private gain or loss; which the officer knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of any principal or parent organization or subsidiary of a corporate principal, other than a public agency, by whom he or she is retained; or which the officer knows would inure to the special private gain or loss of a relative or business associate of the officer. An exception exists for a commissioner of a community redevelopment agency created or designated pursuant to s. 163.356, F.S., or s. 163.357, F.S., or an officer of an independent special tax district elected on a one-acre, one-vote basis. Section 112.3143(3)(b), F.S.

Just because the judge doesn’t like me doesn’t allow him to recuse himself from hearing or voting on an ethics complaint that I filed. He can only recuse himself when he has a legitimate conflict of interest as defined above.

If politicians could willy-nilly go around recusing themselves from voting on items associated with individuals or causes that they didn’t like then the entire democratic system would soon come to a screeching halt.

However, by doing what he has done, I am of the opinion that the judge has not only broken the law, but also, put his fellow Commissioners in a bind because they now have a legal obligation to call him on his behavior. If they don’t, then those members who are attorneys will be opening themselves up to a complaint I will file with the Florida Bar.

Below are video clips of last week’s meeting.  Listen to the very opening moment of the first video and you will hear the discussion and recognition that Schwartz has recused himself the item cannot be discussed.