Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade tax-appeals board sticks with new attorney choice

Miami-Dade County’s Value Adjustment Board has decided to proceed with the hiring of a new attorney, even though his involvement in a prior investigation wasn’t disclosed during the selection process.

Board members instructed the agency to continue finalizing a contract with Manuel Blanco, who was chosen for the job last month over three other finalists. The part-time position pays $175 an hour.

“It’s a done deal, and I’m happy about it,” Blanco said Friday.

A few days after Blanco’s selection, the board learned that he had been named in a 2009 inspector general investigation. The review found Blanco, a special magistrate on property-tax appeals, violated hearing rules in one case.

Blanco, who was temporarily suspended, said he was tricked by a clerk of the courts employee who was ultimately fired.

Outgoing attorney Robert Tischenkel asked board members whether they wanted to reconsider their choice after news of the investigation broke. They said no.