Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sue the Shit out of the Miami Herald John Dubois! Palmetto Bay Vice Mayor John Dubois Featured in the Miami Herald - Not in a Good Way. By Geniusofdespair

John Dubois...standing apart from the rest of the Palmetto Bay Council as a teenager is honored 
As the blogger sued (Popular Community Blog), let me just say, I believe John DuBois is a bully, I believe he is a Vexatius Litigator. I believe that he likes to think of himself as a wine connoisseur - hanging out with the elite set -  but I believe he still  acts like the bagel boy he was in New York years ago. 
Note all the "I Believes" qualifying my beliefs....that I believe, of course all the beliefs are also in my opinion.
When a popular community blog wrote posts that criticized John Dubois, the vice mayor of Palmetto Bay, he sued.

When a village resident passed out fliers unfavorable to Dubois during the 2012 elections, he sued. When the county cited him for cutting down mangroves, he sued.

And when ethics investigators opined that Dubois committed ethical violations this year? Yep. He sued.

In the four years Dubois has been in office, he has sued at least 10 people or entities in four lawsuits. Some have called his suits legal bullying or frivolous, including a judge who ordered Dubois to pay the attorney’s fees of the person he sued.

“I like to protect my rights and when people violate them, you better believe it I’m going after them,” Dubois told the Miami Herald. “So yes, if someone violates me, I’m going to react.”

Dubois, CEO of a cloud-based security surveillance company, was elected Palmetto Bay’s vice mayor in 2012. Most, but not all, of the lawsuits pertain to something he did or was criticized for in that capacity. The city did not pay for any of the lawsuits.

The vice mayor’s pattern of filing complaints is “possibly an abuse of the court,” said Donald Jones, a First Amendment law professor at the University of Miami.

“Anyone who is a public figure is subject to fair comment about them and their capacity as a public figure,” Jones said. “You misuse the court if you use it to try to censor the opinions of others. … The question here is, are these complaints valid or not? When you sue the ethics commission, the person who serves you with a notice, or a blogger, that sounds pretty odd to me. ”

In June, the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust said that Dubois committed ethical violations when he participated in a vote in May despite the advice of county ethics officials that he not vote. Dubois says he voted after he got a green light from state ethics officials and that he never asked the county for an opinion.

A month later, Dubois filed a civil rights lawsuit against the commission, accusing executive director Joseph Centorino of “furnishing false information and omitting significant facts to members of the public,” ultimately damaging his reputation. This case is still pending.

The lawsuit is no surprise to some lawyers who have represented people targeted by Dubois.

Ben Kuehne, a Miami attorney who has represented three defendants sued by Dubois, called his dealings “quite frightening.”

“For Dubois, it’s ‘Don’t mess with me or I’ll mess with you,’ ” Kuehne said. “He makes allegations, requires the citizens to obtain a lawyer and then fight the case in court. It’s expensive and stressful, and they nonetheless have to defend themselves against what in my opinion is a legal bullying tactic.”

In 2013, Dubois filed a lawsuit against Palmetto Bay resident Gary Pastorella after he said Pastorella “ginned up slander sheets” targeting him during election season. Dubois later withdrew the case.

In that same 34-page lawsuit, Dubois sued the no-longer published blog “Pbcheckstherecord.Org” for libel, calling the then-unidentified authors “cowards” for publishing “misleading photos” and “scurrilous fabrications.” Dubois said it “damaged and defamed” him.

The case was ultimately dismissed. It was later discovered that the creator of the blog was Shelley Stanczyk, the former mayor of Palmetto Bay.

Also sued were Nancy Lee, the creator of a community watchdog blog, for slander and defamation of character, among other things, after her blog posted a photo sketch of mangrove growth in front of Dubois’ home, alluding to the citation he got for cutting down mangroves. After Lee submitted legal questions to be answered by Dubois, he dropped her and her husband — also named in the suit — from the case.

UM professor Jones said it’s not uncommon to group defendants in one lawsuit, even when the defendants all acted independently of each other, because the court in most cases considers it “efficient.”

“The question is, is he bunching them together because he wants to be efficient or is it because he’s simply upset with all of them. Is there an emotional driver here?” Jones said.

Caroline Mala Corbin, a professor of constitutional law, said it’s very difficult for a public official to win a defamation suit because “first the statement has to be false and made with actual malice, meaning the person making the claim has to have known that it was false.

“So even if the statement turned out not to be true, the false statement is still protected. The reason why the free-speech clause [of the Constitution] provides so much protection is to make sure that defamation suits don’t chill criticism of our government,” Corbin said. “If every time you criticized an official, you had to worry if it was 100 percent true, then you might decide not to criticize them at all. We need to be able to talk about them in order for our democracy to work.”

In another suit, Dubois accused Palmetto Bay resident Elizabeth “Libby” Williams of stealing campaign signs. That case was ultimately dismissed.

Dubois also sued John Ricisak, an investigator for the county Division of Environmental Resources Management, after Ricisak cited Dubois for having cut down mangroves at his home. A judge dismissed the case, calling it frivolous, and ordered Dubois to pay almost $66,000 in attorney fees.

Right around the same time, Dubois filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against Miami-Dade County; Lee Hefty, the county’s environmental resources director; and county deputy mayor Jack Osterholt in connection with the same incident. The county filed motions to dismiss the case, which is still pending. Dubois claims that the county has engaged in “selective enforcement, First Amendment retaliation, discrimination” and that the citation was falsely issued, although he paid the fine.

Both lawsuits were filed after the county first sued Dubois, accusing him of filling wetlands and cutting down mangroves. The county’s case is still ongoing.

“In my opinion as a lawyer, he has a record of filing lawsuits that are not righteous, not valid, not based on a valid public purpose,” Kuehne said.

Dubois: “That’s like saying someone breaks into your house and robs you. Are you telling me you won’t press charges? I’m sure you would. When my rights are violated, I act. I don’t just sit there. ”

Jones said Dubois “needs to seriously think about whether this in itself could be damaging his career. He’s in the realm of risking sanctions against him for his actions.”


Anonymous said...

John DuBois is a POS homophobe

Anonymous said...

John DuBois is a political cancer that must be removed by the voters

Lisa Merkin said...

This man has is a loose cannon, there is no way he should be in office . I have seen a few examples in recent of him loosing it .

Anonymous said...

As a child, #DubiousDubois would probably sue his own mother for not packing him the lunch he wanted.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Me too. Red in the face, spit flying and completely off topic. Spewing personal interest. Another PB candidate, Singer, has monetary/mortgage ties to Dubois. They've got lots of money for signs and lie filled mailers. We need to steer clear of them both.

Anonymous said...

Blanche Dubois?

Anonymous said...

So sad. Come on Palmetto Bay Voters. You can do better. Vote out ethically challenged Dubois.

Anonymous said...

Who is better than Dubois? Zisman? Lol!

Geniusofdespair said...


Anonymous said...

Erica Watts? It's well known in PB Erica was recruited by Gene Flinn. How much better is that?

Anonymous said...

Three people are running for Vice Mayor of Palmetto Bay, John Dubois, David Zisman and Erica Watts.

Dubois has a sign in his yard to "Preserve the Vision" of Old Cutler Road. The sign was produced to stop the rezoning and development of a 3-4 story mixed use development on Old Cutler and 184th. Jose Castillo (Green Point Group) was a lobbyist FOR the developer of this property and is now Dubois campaign consultant.

Dubois claims to be against development on Old Cutler Road, but hires Castillo who works as a lobbyist to put more development on Old Cutler.

Both Dubois and Zisman have thrown large amounts of money into winning this $6,000 a year seat. Dubois currently has almost $109,000 in his account after having loaned himself $$86,000 in July. Zisman registered and immediately loaned himself $50,000. No reports yet for Watts.

Karen Cunningham also used Castillo. In Cutler Bay Mayor Peggy Bell and Sue Loyzelle used Castillo. Loyzelle is running for reelection.

Anonymous said...

Dubois / Singer 2016. A great example of what you can buy for $500,000.

Anonymous said...

Dubois is trying to fool the voters. He has always been pro development having been one of the biggest cheerleaders for the downtown development district. He is only pretending to be anti-development until after he is re-elected and therefore term limited, then let's see how his campaign manager cashes in on working over Palmetto Bay

Anonymous said...

Rumor is that State Representative Michael Bileca and council member Cunningham recruited Erica Watts to run against Dubois. It's a school thing. The School Board is looking to load up more pro-school people on local councils like Coriat in Cutler Bay, Edmunds in South Miami, Ball in Pinecrest and Cunningham in Palmetto Bay. The goal is to get municipalities to put up big $$$s for school expenditures - Pinecrest gives $50,ooo a year, plus 2 police resource officers. Cutler Bay paid $2.7 million plus hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for 600 student high school; all of this is to benefit the school board.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above, wrong, Gene Flinn recruited Erica Watts, don't make crap up about the School Board.

Anonymous said...

Erica Watts has always been an advocate for the greater good. She does not believe in over-development or desolation of green space and is in no one's "pocket". She started the first Green Team at my kid's school! I have always seen her tagged by both Councilwoman Cunningham and Mayor Flinn. She always speaks positively of our Village. I think you are all so used to this garbage, you think everyone is corrupt. This is not the case with Erica.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that Karyn Cunningham is one of the people who pushed Erica into running. They share many interests through the schools. Cunningham may be playing it safe by trying to be neutral, but believe me when I tell you she speaks highly of Erica in her after hours meetings while distancing herself from the vice mayor and his antics.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that Karyn Cunningham did NOT try to push Erica into running and in fact did the opposite. Erica Watts is running against the guy with the deep pockets, Mr. Dubois. And Karyn has higher aspirations for political office and needs the deep pockets.

Erica has her campaign up and running now, you should all start donating heavily to her if you want to see some change in Palmetto Bay. She is not accepting money from developers and lobbyists - what a nice change! Reward her for her courage and integrity by making a donation now!

why don't you interview her for the blog? or do something to help promote her. She is at a serious economic disadvantage due to her pledge not to accept money from developers/lobbyists.