Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Just how many laws may have been broken by City of South Miami Commissioner Josh Liebman's campaign endorsement from the dais?

Last week we left you with a video of City of South Miami Commissioner, Josh Liebman, campaigning for someone to replace on of his fellow commissioners during a commission meeting while on the dais.  We asked what if any laws the good commissioner broke by endorsing someone from the dais, did anyone guess just how many laws were broken?  While there was spirited debate in our comments section, one of our readers was kind enough to send me an email and elucidate which laws were allegedly broken, so without further adieu...
F.S. Ch. 104.31 Political activities of state, county, and municipal officers and employees.(2) An employee of the state or any political subdivision may not participate in any political campaign for an elective office while on duty.(3) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) Nothing contained in this section or in any county or municipal charter shall be deemed to prohibit any public employee from expressing his or her opinions on any candidate or issue or from participating in any political campaign during the employee’s off-duty hours, so long as such activities are not in conflict with the provisions of subsection (1) or s. 110.233.

Makes sense right?  Do whatever the hell you want when you're not on the clock, but when you're on the clock, keep your mouth shut!  Next...
F.S. Ch. 106.15 Campaign Financing - Certain acts prohibited(3) A candidate may not, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours.
Ok, more of the same, next...
F.S. Ch. 106.113 Campaign Financing - Expenditures by local governments(2) A local government or a person acting on behalf of local government may not expend or authorize the expenditure of, and a person or group may not accept, public funds for a political advertisement or electioneering communication concerning an issue, referendum, or amendment, including any state question, that is subject to a vote of the electors. This subsection does not apply to an electioneering communication from a local government or a person acting on behalf of a local government which is limited to factual information.
I guess this would apply since Commissioner Liebman was getting paid by the city while he was running his mouth.  Next...
F.S. Ch. 112.313  Standards of conduct for public officers, employees of agencies, and local government attorneys. (6) MISUSE OF PUBLIC POSITION. No public officer, employee of an agency, or local government attorney shall corruptly use or attempt to use his or her official position or any property or resource which may be within his or her trust, or perform his or her official duties, to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself, herself, or others. This section shall not be construed to conflict with s. 104.31.
That's self explanatory and right on point.  Next...
Miami-Dade County Code of OrdinancesSec. 2-11.1 (g) Exploitation of official position prohibited.
No person included in the terms defined in Subsections (b)(1) through (6) and (b)(13) shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure special privileges or exemptions for himself or herself or others except as may be specifically permitted by other ordinances and resolutions previously ordained or adopted or hereafter to be ordained or adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.
Once again, on point.  Perhaps Commissioner Liebman's behavior wouldn't have been as egregious if he would have also endorsed commissioner Harris when asked towards the end of his endorsement for his friend.  Last but not least...
South Miami Code of Ordinances Sec. 8A-3.  Fair and equal treatment.(a) Impartiality. No official or employee shall request, use or permit the use of, any consideration, treatment, advantage or favor beyond that which it is the general practice to grant or make available to the public at large.
Again, clear and on point.

So what now?  From what it looks like we have Commissioner Liebman dead to rights, after watching the video, it seems clear that he has violated some if not all of the laws outlined above.  With that said, it's time, at the very least, to empower the folks over at the Miami Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust with a new ethics complaint!

Although it seems like the behavior of the good commissioner may have risen to the level of criminality (first degree misdemeanor), I somehow doubt the people over at the state attorneys office would bother with going after Mr. Liebman.  What do you guys think?  I guess we'll start with an ethics complaint then maybe pass the whole mess on to the state attorneys office and see what they have to say.


  1. He has often reminded viewers of the city's cable channel that he is a proud graduate of Katy Sorenson's good government class. The students should not graduate until they've passed a final exam that consists of behaving themselves in office for at least 2 years.

  2. Hey Lieman, you laughed when Commissioner Harris asked you if you are also sponsoring him.
    Found it real funny.

    Are you still laughing? Is it still funny?

    1. Harris's hopeful tone was perfect, like the dog who looks up at the table and asks if dinner is for him too. And that was Welsh (not Liebman) who almost died laughing at Liebman's nonplussed expression and awkward silence. It was one of those sparkling moments in politics that can make milk come out of your nose.

  3. City of South Miami Regular City Commission Minutes
    March 20, 2012 CONSENT AGENDA 56-12-13613
    1. A Resolution appointing Alex Almazan to serve on the Parks and Recreation Board for a two-year term ending March 19, 2014. 3/5 (Vice Mayor Liebman)
    Moved by Commissioner Newman, seconded by Commissioner Harris, the motion to approve the Consent Agenda passed by a 5-0 vote. Commissioner Newman: Yea; Vice Mayor Liebman: Yea; Commissioner Harris: Yea; Commissioner Welsh: Yea; Mayor Stoddard: Yea

    8.A Resolution appointing Donna Shelley to serve on the Environmental Review and Preservation Board for a two-year term ending March 19, 2014. 3/5
    (Vice Mayor Liebman)
    Moved by Commissioner Welsh, seconded by Commissioner Harris, the motion to defer this item passed by a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Newman: Yea; Vice Mayor Liebman: Nay; Commissioner Harris: Yea; Commissioner Welsh: Yea; Mayor Stoddard: Yea

    (This item was withdrawn)
    9. A Resolution appointing Alex Almazan to serve on the Planning Board for an unexpired term ending March 1, 2013. 3/5 (Vice Mayor Liebman)

    Detail by Officer/Registered Agent Name
    Florida Limited Liability Company
    Filing Information
    Document NumberL06000047350
    Manager/Member Detail Name & Address
    7550 RED ROAD , SUITE 208
    MIAMI, FL 33143
    5861 SW 87TH STREET
    SOUTH MIAMI, FL 33143

    "Vice Mayor Joshua Liebman, a political rookie who ran on a platform to “restore trust and civility at City Hall,” was asked this week how that effort is going.“The definition of insanity,” Liebman said, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That is what is happening here. Something has to change.” -South Miami: a city where weird things are always happening The Miami Herald BYLINE: ANDREA TORRES; atorres@MiamiHerald.com 12/10/2012

  4. .....and so we have this buffoon to kick around for 2 more years!

  5. This is what you get when you vote for a candidate supported by Michael Miller.

  6. ICertainly agree with just what you said. Your explanation was certainly the simplest to comprehend. Neuroplex Pro I tell you, I usually get annoyed any time folks discuss issues that these people obviously dont know about. You were able to hit the nail on the head and spelled out the whole thing with out complication. Perhaps, folks could take a signal. Will likely be back to obtain more. Appreciate ithttp://www.healthsupreviews.com/neuroplex-pro/