THE PLOT THICKENS
IN WHAT IS FAST BECOMING A BATTLE OF LEGAL MOTIONS, THE THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING THE CITY AND FLAGSTONE ARE STARTING TO RING THE CASH REGISTERS, WHILE YOU HAVE TO WONDER WHY THE CITY WOULD BLINK EVEN BEFORE THE FIRST COURT HEARING
There were several different ways that things could have gone after the City Commission voted to find the Flagstone Group in default.
First, the Mayor could have vetoed the Commission's vote. He didn't do that.
Secondly, the City Attorney/City Manager could have sent the Flagstone Group a letter saying that the multiple lease agreements were "terminated." See my story about the difference between words "Termination" and "Default."
The City chose instead to go with the word, "default."
On receiving that letter, the Flagstone Group could have filed a Motion To Compel Arbitration, because that's what the agreements that the City and Flagstone agreed follows after being served with a Letter Of Default.
Instead, Flagstone filed their lawsuit, the City supposedly got pissed when they found out about it, and turned around and sent a letter telling them to "vacate" the property, followed now by Flagstone's Motion for a Temporary Injunction to stop the City from evicting them, and lastly, the City files a Motion To Compel Arbitration.
Well, consider this. What is the one thing that no one ever wants to deal with if they find themselves in a lawsuit?
It's called Discovery.
After almost 16 years of back room wheeling and dealing, how much dirty laundry to you think that the Flagstone Group might have accumulated on city officials and employees that the City would prefer not to have come out in depositions?
It's the City who would really stand to loose if the lawsuit were to go forward, and Manny Diaz and Tomas Regalado were to get dragged in for depositions. Or how about Commissioner Marc "Pay For Play" Sarnoff, as well as the other Commissioners who might not want any dealings they had with the Flagstone lawyers and lobbyists exposed?
And how about all the city officials and employees who absolutely had to have been involved in allowing the Flagstone's illegal waterfront restaurant operate for a year with all the examples of permit and health violations that I've detailed in my stories? HERE and HERE.
So, while my first prediction about what would happen after the City Commission voted to find the Flagstone Group in default didn't come to pass - I predicted that the Mayor might veto the Commission's decision for some well timed political contributions to his son and daughter who are both running for public office - and don't bet that that still won't happen - it now looks like the 2nd option: Default, Arbitration, and then Flagstone and the City kissing and making up, nullifying the Commission's vote, could very well come to pass.
No matter how many twists and turns take place, at the end of the day you always need to remember that Money Talks And Bullshit Walks.
It's Miami, Bitches!
PS: To show you how little the Regalado administration thinks of the City Commission, in my story three days ago I included copies of two requests by the City Attorney to the Commission asking them to allow her to hire outside law firms to represent the city and the city officials against the Flagstone Group's lawsuit that will be discussed later on today.
If you look at the motion filed by the City to Compel Arbitration, you will see that it was not filed by the City Attorney, but by and outside attorney, Gonzalo Dorta.
It seems that the City Attorney didn't bother to wait to get permission to hire an outside law firm, because, no matter how tough they talk, at the end of the day these Commissioners are pussies, who have become accustomed to getting bitch slapped by the Regalado gang!
On Friday, June 9th, the Flagstone Group filed a $122 million dollar lawsuit against the City for serving them with a notice of default.
On Monday, June 12th, the City reacted to the lawsuit by sending the Flagstone Group a strongly worded letter informing them that they had 5 days to pack up and vacate the property.
On Friday night, June 16th - after hours - the Flagstone Group responded to the City's letter to vacate by filing a motion for a Temporary Injunction to stop the City from forcing them off of the property.
On Tuesday night, June 20th - also after hours - the City responded by filing a Motion To Compel Arbitration.
JUNE 22 , 2017