In his book “Sins of South Beach” the former, 3 time, Miami Beach Mayor Alex Daoud talks about the day Lucia Dougherty told him she was leaving her Miami Beach position. Lucia Dougherty was the Miami Beach City Attorney before she was the Miami City Attorney which was before she became a land-use attorney for Greenberg Traurig (where she currently works). Daoud lamented the loss of Lucia as Miami Beach Attorney in the late 80’s. He said:
“I wanted her to stay for selfish reasons, to protect me from politically dangerous votes with her legal opinions. Supported by the right legal opinion, a politician could vote any way he or she wanted with total immunity. A city attorney’s opinion could even save a politician from going to jail, and manipulated correctly, help make him a lot of money as well.”
Hmmm. And I though the attorneys were working on behalf of citizens. Stupid me.
Daoud describes a meeting with the next City Attorney, when he told him that he had the votes to fire him, and suggested he quit, which the City Attorney agreed to do. Daoud wrote about what he thought, after the meeting:
“Finally I was rid of this thorn in my side. There was just one little problem. I had violated one of the strongest commandments of the political code: Thou shalt not destroy a dangerous political opponent when thou art politically corrupt.”
Finally, Daoud also looked back on the free union labor he had at his house, dubbed by him “The Mayor’s Mansion”:
“After a while, the unions stopped sending free laborers to my house. Then the free carpenters stopped coming and finally the electricians. The vote I had cast to award millions of dollars in contracts bought only so much goodwill.”
Thus ends my read of the “Sins of South Beach.” Dozens of examples of sunshine violations, bribery, money laundering, hits at Cousin/Lobbyist Chris Korge and tricks of the trade are all a blur now. The Book has left me exhausted and disheartened because I know without a doubt: Nothing much has changed here in Miami.