Miami Gardens / Opa-locka


Opa-locka Commissioner wants attorney removed

Opa-locka City Commissioner Timothy Holmes plans to bring a resolution at the city commission meeting Wednesday evening to have City Attorney Joseph Geller removed from his post.

Holmes spoke sternly about it at the last commission meeting, in November, saying that the city manager and clerk’s offices have complained about how long it takes Geller to handle city business. Holmes asked Geller to respond with a plan by Dec. 3 in preparation for the next meeting, and said that now that the deadline has passed he’s moving forward with the resolution.

“I don’t have anything against Mr. Geller, but he must do his job for the city of Opa-locka on a timely basis,” Holmes said. “If he has too much to do, that he can’t do the job, we need to bring someone else in.”

Geller did not respond to a phone call and email seeking comment.

According to Holmes, employees have had to work overtime in order to go through documentation and prepare the agenda packets for meetings.

The commissioner said he does not necessarily expect a lot of support for the resolution, but he has the support of Commissioner Dorothy Johnson. Both commissioners suggested an in-house attorney to work directly in City Hall.

“If we had an in-house attorney, we’d be able to address things immediately and not have this gap,” Johnson said.

Assistant City Manager David Chiverton said that he hasn’t heard much discussion on the issue, and hadn’t yet seen a draft of the agenda proposing the resolution.

“On occasion, there are challenges with getting things done,” Chiverton said. “The commission is well within their right to make that decision at any given moment.”

The city’s charter states that the attorney reports to the commission and can be removed by a majority vote. Geller and his firm are paid about $16,700 monthly.

Geller has served as Opa-locka’s city attorney since 2009 when he was first hired on an interim basis. He also serves as village attorney for El Portal. He’s an attorney with the law firm Greenspoon Marder.

Read more Miami Gardens / Opa-locka stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK