Palmetto Bay

Palmetto Bay

Six law firms apply for Palmetto Bay village attorney

For the second time in a matter of months, the Palmetto Bay Council will vote on an attorney to represent the village.

This time, six lawyers are vying for the job.

They are:

• John Herin Jr. of Gray Robinson. Herin currently represents Palmetto Bay as interim village attorney. He is also the city attorney for Doral and Marathon.

• Quentin E. Morgan of Brinkley Morgan.

• Jeff Cazeau of Lydecker Diaz. Cazeau currently serves as city attorney for Florida City.

• Hugo Alvarez of Alvarez & Barbara.

• Dexter W. Lehtinen. Lehtinen is married to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican congresswoman who represents the area. He is a former Florida senator and representative as well as a former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

• John C. Dellagloria, who in the past has served as an attorney for several municipalities, including South Miami and North Miami. He also is a former assistant city attorney for Miami Beach.

The village’s initiative to find a new attorney dates back to April, when the council voted 3-2 to direct staff to solicit applications from law firms. Three firms applied: Gray Robinson, Alayon & Associates, and Figueredo & Boutsis.

Eve Boutsis of Figueredo & Boutsis served as the village attorney at the time.

At its October meeting, a divided council could not pick a firm to permanently fill the position. Instead, with a 3-2 vote, the council dismissed Boutsis and hired Herin of Gray Robinson in the interim.

The council also directed staff to re-advertise the opening.

The move to replace Boutsis, who represented the village since its 2002 incorporation, was spearheaded by Vice Mayor John DuBois, who started pushing for the initiative soon after he stepped on the dais in late 2012. Throughout the process, he has given varying reasons for his initiative, most recently saying that Palmetto Bay has never put the job out through a competitive bid.

Mayor Shelley Stanczyk wanted to keep Boutsis on the job because, she said, Boutsis has the “institutional knowledge” of Palmetto Bay’s laws and pending cases.

Last time the job was put out to bid, a selection committee comprised of staff and two outside attorneys ranked the three firms that had applied based on experience and references. The ranking was then given to the council for consideration.

This time, however, there will not be a selection committee, and the firms will not be ranked before the council votes to fill the position.

The Village Council has not yet set a date for when to vote on a permanent attorney.

Read more Palmetto Bay stories from the Miami Herald

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