Saturday, November 2, 2013

Respectful Planning Lake Worth PAC

My e-mail to City Attorney Glen Torcivia from October 24, 2013:

Mr. Trocivia - I am reaching out to you due to a recommendation from the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections and after I contacted the Florida Elections Commission. I outlined the following situation to them and they said that I should consult the City Attorney.  I suppose I can also act independently and file a complaint with the Elections Commission, but since this group has brought an action against the city, I would like your guidance in how to handle this situation.

Members of this political committee have asserted in public meetings that they had the assistance of a land use attorney in the preparation of the original petition that was circulated to put their item on the ballot. You will not find any entry in the attached treasurer reports from this group that indicate either an in-kind contribution for these services, which would have to be limited to $500, or any monetary expenditure related to professional legal services. That is one issue.

The second issue is that they submitted their "Termination Report" to the City Clerk's office on July 12th. On August 5th a Petition for Writ of Mandamus was filed against the city. The plaintiff of the lawsuit is Laurel Decker who, according to the filing is on behalf of "herself and the petitioner's committee for a citizen ballot initiative called "Respectful Planning Lake Worth" regarding the City of Lake Worth Charter Amendment ("COMMITTEE")"

This brings up a few issues:
  • Is this an action of the PAC that has already terminated? If so, how can that be?
  • The plaintiff had to pay a $401 filing fee for this action. Is that her money individually or that of others through the PAC?
  • A land use attorney was engaged to file this petition on behalf of the group and the same issue identified above comes into play.
  • Since they filed a lawsuit, they are still pursuing the original purpose of the PAC so the PAC in my mind shouldn't have been terminated.
You may already be aware of these apparent discrepancies and, if not, you should. I am prepared to make an individual complaint on this matter if necessary. 

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

The City Attorney's response dated October 28, 2013:

Mr. Blackman,

I appreciate your e-mail.  While we are aware of most of the issues you raised in your e-mail, our direction from the City is to address the lawsuit on behalf of the City.  I cannot comment on that pending litigation nor can I provide you with legal advice on how to proceed with the issues you raised in your e-mail.  I will forward this to the Manager and Commission so that they are also aware.

Thanks, Glen

Click here for a link where you can find the various Treasurer Reports from the Respectful Planning Lake Worth PAC.