Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has denied a request made by one of the groups battling for control of the Miami Design Preservation League to intervene in the dispute and immediately recognize their Board as the duly elected Board. Stuart Reed, attorney for Executive Director Daniel Ciraldo who was suspended by the Board chaired by Steve Pynes, filed a motion asking the Attorney General to recognize the competing Board chaired by Jack Johnson. Johnson’s Board was supported by Ciraldo during the election and wants to retain him as Executive Director. The Pynes’ Board was certified by the independent third-party accounting firm which monitored the vote but a dispute over proxy ballots has landed in Court. Yes, we know this a little like a “Who’s on first?” routine.
In declining to intervene, Deputy Attorney General Chesterfield Smith, Jr, wrote in a letter to Reed, "This response should not be construed to constitute a legal opinion on the merits of this matter."
Separately, testimony this week on an emergency motion in the Eleventh Circuit Court to have the Pynes' Board recognized as the the legitimate Board was delayed when Judge Bronwyn Miller had another trial commitment. The schedule is now pending. Miller did issue an Order of Confidentiality to protect confidential information on all membership applications, ballots, and proxies. The order follows testimony by Election Committee member Lori Bakkum that members were assured their votes would remain private. Miller ordered that “members’ votes in the MDPL 2018 election may only be disclosed to the Court, the parties, and the parties’ attorneys… To the extent any of the election materials will be filed with the Court, the Election Materials shall be redacted so that votes remain private.”
Meanwhile, the two groups continue to work together to ensure the bills are paid and that the Art Deco Welcome Center and Museum in a Miami Beach City-owned facility at 1001 Ocean Drive remains open per the management agreement with the City.
Miami Design Preservation League: Legal Motions, No Decisions:
Leadership limbo continues