Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let's Argue The Law. That's Why We Have Laws.







The argument that followed us out into the lobby of the council chambers came down to whether or not Marcellus should be sworn in as a councilman. The white guy facing away from the camera towards the right foreground is outgoing Mayor Kevin Burns. Michelle Garcia was claiming that Marcellus didn't meet the city charter's residency requirements and the case is in the hands of the circuit court to determine if Mr. Marcellus or Ms. Garcia should get the council seat.

Marcellus's attorneys claimed that the mayor and council constitute a quasi-judicial board who have the job of validating the vote in accordance with the city charter. The city attorney and Ms. Garcia's attorney were claiming that since it's already in the hands of the court the council couldn't act on it until the issue of Marcellus's residency was settled.The attorneys for Marcellus kept referring to him as "Mr. Marcellus" but referred to Ms. Garcia as "Michelle", a very sexist outlook in these times. The place was packed with Marcellus supporters who kept trying to shout down Mayor Burns, there were lots of uniformed police present, and scattered throughout the chambers were plain clothes police as well.

The final decision was to let the circuit court decide the matter. If the council seated Marcellus and then the judge voided that decision then any city business that he'd voted on during a council meeting would be nullified. The decision was greeted by much shouting and cursing that "North Miami is a Haitian city" , that we're a bunch of racists for not seating Marcellus, etc., etc. There are already two Haitians on the council, we've had a Haitian mayor before, and we have a black city manager so that argument doesn't hold much water

The police escorted Ms. Garcia to her car and a patrol car followed her home "just in case". Throughout the night her house was checked by a patrol car driving by every fifteenminutes or so. I spoke with her late last night and spoke with her again this morning. She was fine. I'm still hurting from the pummeling Marcellus's goons gave me a couple of weeks ago.

This morning I received a call from an investigator with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in Tallahasee. He'll be in town next week and wanted to set up a meeting with me. He has the photographs that were here on my blog, so next week I'll be having a chat with the FDLE. Monkette is sitting this one out.

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