As you may or may not have read, the Principal of the Aventura School of Excellence says she was wrongfully fired and was abused by the Aventura City Manager (City is in charge of charter school). Katherine Murphy, the Principal, brought suit against Aventura City Manager Eric Soroka and the Charter School Company running the school for the City. In a jury trial Katherine Murphy prevailed and won a $155 Million dollar lawsuit including $500,000 against Eric personally. Circuit Court Judge Rosa Rodriguez didn't agree with the Jury.
The judge overturned the award 5 days later. Benedict Kuehne, her able attorney said: "In a single ruling that was expedited for no apparent reason, Judge Rodriguez undid the tremendous work done by the jury in assessing and evaluating the wrongs done to Dr. Murphy by the defendants. This unprecedented decision will be the subject of further review as Dr. Murphy continues her necessary and vigorous fight for justice that has been against denied her. She intends to press for reinstatement of the jury’s $155.7 million verdict in her favor."
As I stated in my last article "Dumb Shit", written in 2011, Soroka is the City Manager of Aventura, and his wife is City Clerk. Most Cities I have been to, you can pretty much just walk in. They take your license and your photo to walk in Aventura City Hall (and the public Library in the building). You must then RETURN the picture tag when you leave. I suppose so Eric can look at who was in the building. I crumbled mine up and the guard had a cow, lecturing me on not following directions. He actually tried to flatten it out. I have never had my photo taken at any other City hall I have been to in Miami Dade County (Homestead, Coral Gables, South Miami, Key Biscayne, City of Miami, Miami Beach, etc.)
If you write to your City Commissioner or the Mayor to complain about either the City Manager or City Clerk in Aventura, be warned that either Eric or his wife Teresa Soroka reads your email and, in my case, they were the only ones to ever respond to emails NOT addressed to them. How do you get in touch with the Commissioners in Aventura? You have to call them at home.
How do the Commissioners and Mayor know that Eric and Teresa are doing a good job? Because Eric and Teresa tell them so. You really can't get past this cartel of power in Aventura. You might wonder how this could happen. Well I can only believe that the people elected are lazy. They don't have to do anything but show up at meetings and the dynamic duo does the rest. It has worked well for all involved. The people in Aventura are pretty happy with the nicely landscaped city, unless they have a problem and then the nightmare begins for them personally. They can never get past the firewall. The Aventura Mayor and Commission, avert their eyes but they know what is going on. Mayor Gottlieb came in insisting that she and the Commission have a secretary not beholden to Soroka but in a short time she came around like a good Stepford wife and is now in lockstep with the rest. Effortless governing has its appeal.
When I read the court documents, I believed everything that Dr. Katherine Murphy said. Not because he cursed at me or belittled me but because I think he has a flawed character from my dealings with him. He is a bully. I don't like bullies. It appears that the Jury also believed Dr. Murphy and didn't have much regard for Soroka. I think the judge was wrong to overturn the award. In my opinion the City government in Aventura should have fired him long ago. Let me leave you with a quote from her Attorney Ben Kuehne:
The ruling is unprecedented, unwise, and entirely subject to question. The appellate court will be the next decider. Meanwhile, Dr Murphy is victimized again for proven outrageous conduct that the City of Aventura explains is just part of what it expects its Manager to do. Disgraceful!
Read some of the outrageous things that the Principal says happened (you will be shocked):
This is from my 2011 article:
Murphy described eleven different incidents in which Soroka allegedly harassed her about her work performance:
(1) in April 2003, after Murphy offered to let a city commissioner teach some lessons at the school, Soroka called Murphy a “dumb shit,” prohibited her from inviting commissioners to the school, and told her that “[i]t’s fucking inappropriate for you to talk to them”;
(2) also in April, after Murphy talked to Elaine Adler, the President of the Aventura Marketing Council, Soroka instructed Murphy to cease contact with Adler and told Murphy that she was a “stupid fuck” who failed to “get [the] message that [she was] not to do this”;
(3) in May 2003, after Murphy talked to a second city commissioner, Soroka told Murphy that “[y]ou directors do not talk” and called Murphy a “stupid shit” and a “dumb fuck”;
(4) Soroka screamed and yelled at Murphy when a parent complained about the school;
(5) Soroka “would call [Murphy] if there was an event at the school . . . and two commissioners were in the same building at the same time and call . . . her words like you slut” or “you goddamn fuck-up and ask her, can’t you get this?”;
(6) Soroka called Murphy a “dumb fuck” for the way she had addressed requests by parents for more input at board meetings and in the school;
(7) Soroka would appear at a school advisory meeting in a “bad” mood and insult Murphy by saying things like “you dumb shit, you stupid fuck, you fucked up, how come you can’t do this, why can’t you control staff, an idiot could take care of this, . . . you have the mindlessness of a hooker”;
(8) Soroka accused Murphy of meeting commissioners for dinner, accused her of not learning her lesson, called her a “dumb shit,” threatened to fire her, and warned her that if she had lied about the assemblage being coincidental that she “was fucked”;
(9) in 2005, Soroka called Murphy a “goddamn slut” after reading an article about her in the newspaper that he had not approved;
(10) while Murphy was conducting a parent-teacher conference in the Spring of 2006, Soroka called and told Murphy that she was a “stupid shit . . . you slut, how can you do this? . . . Don’t you goddamn learn your lessons”; and
(11) in the Summer of 2006, Soroka called Murphy a “goddamn stupid fuck” after she refused to give student records to Soroka’s wife.
Murphy described five incidents in which Soroka allegedly harassed her about her personal life:
(1) Soroka called Murphy about having dinner with Luz Weinberg, a city commissioner in the midst of her second divorce, and Soroka said the women looked like hookers;
(2) after learning Murphy had gone to dinner with Weinberg a second time, Soroka told Murphy that she looked like a "whore to be with her, because . . . [Weinberg] looks like a slut as well, out when she's working on her second divorce";
(3) Soroka told Murphy that dining in a restaurant alone made her look like a "whore";
(4) Soroka ridiculed and used vulgar language with Murphy after she, city commissioners, and the mayor attended a charity event for a child who [*5] had been killed in Israel; and
(5) Soroka also ridiculed Murphy about attending a charity event for cystic fibrosis at which city commissioners and the mayor were present. Murphy alleged that Soroka had called her a "stupid bitch," but Murphy did not explain where, when, or why the comment was made. Murphy also alleged that, in June or July of 2003 after Soroka overheard a mother remark that her buxom daughter could not wear a school uniform, Soroka stated in Murphy's presence, "[w]ouldn't all women love to have that problem."