These City Attorneys never Swore Oath to City I'm Suing. Here's why that Matters
I am embroiled in an epic public records battle against one of the most prestigious law firms in South Florida, a well-connected powerhouse of an organization representing dozens of cities throughout the area, including Homestead, which happens to be one of the most corrupt.
That cop, Alejandro Murguido, has also since filed three false stalking injunctions against me where I was required by law to surrender my guns to police without due process.
All because one day I asked Murguido, who lives down the street from me, not to speed through the neighborhood because I was worried he would run over kids playing in the streets, including my own.
All the charges and stalking injunctions against me were thrown out of court.
Meanwhile, I have filed seven lawsuits against the Homestead Police Department as well as the Miami-Dade Police Department for civil rights violations, defamation and refusal to release public records.
I have spent more than $80,000 in my legal battle while Homestead has paid more than $150,000 to Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Cole & Bierman, also known as WSH, the high-profile law firm it contracted to handle city business.
But it recently came to my attention that not a single attorney from WSH ever swore an oath to the city, even though as contracted employees to the city, they have taken on the role of city attorney.
And that is a direct violation of the Homestead Code of Ordinances, which states the following:
The city attorney shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe to the oath of office in like manner as other executive officers of the city, and similar in form and the same in substance as that taken by the council.
If the city attorney failed to swear an oath to the city, then they must be fired immediately.
If they are not fired, then their employer could be guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to 60 days in jail, and a $500 fine.
In this case, the employers would be the Homestead City Council, whom I plan on addressing during tonight's city council meeting on this very issue.
Last time I published an article saying I was going to be attending the upcoming city council meeting to address council members about a particular issue, I was arrested within minutes of entering city hall and charged with trespassing.
I'm hoping that won't happen tonight.
I filed a sixty-one page Second Amended Complaint, pro se, on June 11th, 2018, listing eight WSH attorneys, including Richard Weiss and Joseph Serota, who happen to be the “W” and “S” of WSH.
Also named are Homestead Police Chief Alexander Rolle, City Manager George Gretsas, and City Clerk Elizabeth Sewell.
WSH is proud of its work defending cities against public records requests. One of the firm's attorneys, Samuel Zeskind, boasts on his personal BIO about his expertise in “the representation of numerous municipalities defending public records claims.”
It’s as if this guy uses his willingness to violate the records law as a selling point to hire him, not to mention his boast of defending red light cameras.
What a lovable guy, right? But wait there’s more!
Remember the whole “stingray” issue several years back where police were illegally using cellphone interceptors without warrants?
Zeskind’s fingerprints are all over it.
The ACLU went after one of Zeskind’s client, the city of Sunrise, over a public records request regarding the use of the stingrays.
Not only does Zeskind hate public records, he apparently hates accountability and the Fourth Amendment too. But no one has ever gone after WSH . . . until now, that is.
Also included as an exhibit is the video above where inspection of public records was denied because I had no appointment, which is a violation of public records that states inspection of records must be allowed "at any reasonable time."
That alone violates the records law, not to mention how the city has raped me over fees where I have paid more than $4,500 in public records fees.
Criminal Anarchy, Treason and Crimes Against Public Order
Not only does Homestead's city charter forbid city attorneys from representing their clients without having sworn oaths, Florida law does as well, meaning FSH as well as the mayor and council are in violation of the law.
According to Chapter 876 of the Florida Statutes, aptly titled Criminal Anarchy, Treason and Crimes Against Public Order:
FS. 876.05 requires all employees and officers of the state and of a county, town, city or other municipality to swear a loyalty oath, or oath of office.
Without this document being on file with the employing agency, the employee or officer cannot lawfully receive any salary, expenses or other compensation from public funds.
FS. 876.06 requires the governing authority to immediately discharge and remove from payroll any employee or officer who refuses to or fails to execute (i.e. sign and submit a copy of) their oath of office.
FS. 876.08 provides that any governing authority or person whom an employee is serving or employed by (i.e. the city council as the attorneys work for them) shall knowingly or carelessly permit the employee to continue in employment after failing to comply with the law requiring such an oath, is guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor, which carries up to 60 days in jail, and a $500 fine.
I began my investigation into this matter by filing a request for the copies of the oath of office for the city attorneys involved in my case on May 31, 2018.
The City responded twelve days later stating no records existed. I then emailed Sewell requesting to inspect the oaths of the mayor and council.
Ten minutes later Sewell sent an email stating the records were ready for inspection. I then drove to city hall and inspected the oaths of the mayor and council.
Let's hope I don't get arrested.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m, which means I can address the council anytime between 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Here is the timeline of my battle against Homestead
October 29th, 2012, I saw Murguido in his front yard and motioned to speak with him, as he had ran me off the road while driving the week earlier. I asked him to drive respectfully and obey the law, as I was concerned for the safety of the children in the neighborhood including my own. After I left I was chased down and 12 officers came and detained me for over an hour and a half. They told me if I filed a complaint it would not be good for me.
January 24th, 2013, I called and left messages with internal affairs (IA) for both Homestead Police Department (HPD) and Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD). My calls were not returned until after Murguido could first file charges and claims against me.
February 2013. On the 13th, I left another message with HPD IA. On the 15th, Murguido filed criminal charges against me after IA told him to. On the 28th he filed a false stalking injunction.
April 14th, 2013, I was arrested six months after the incident by MDPD for Corruption Through Threats and Aggravated Stalking. MDPD had no warrant or probable cause for arrest.
October 8th, 2013, I filed my first public records request.
February 7th, 2014, I met with HPD Chief Alexander Rolle to file a complaint after all charges had been dismissed against me. Rolle subsequently destroyed the evidence I gave him.
August 9th, 2014, PINAC published an article about the earlier incidents. This eventually lead to Murguido filing another stalking charge and two more false stalking injunctions.
December 2014, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office (MDSAO) sent me a letter warning me to never record police without permission. I had published a video using a recording I made in Rolle’s office. This lead to the filing of my first law suit. I won the appeal at the 11th Circuit in July 2017 establishing the right to secretly record police even in a closed-door meeting.
July 2016, I was kicked out of the Homestead Council meeting mid-speech and threatened. I published a story on this the day before the August meeting.
August 24th, 2016, upon entering City Hall for the August council meeting, I was illegally trespassed therefrom, then falsely arrested for disorderly conduct and trespass after warning.
September 1st, 2016, when going to meet my attorney, I was pulled over and falsely arrested again this time for witness tampering and cyberstalking, then served with my fourth false stalking injunction.
July 31st, 2017, after filing my pro se public records case, I had the first hearing where some violations of the records law were found.
May 21st, 2018, I had the second hearing on my public records case, where it was determined that anyone in possession of public records including the attorneys could be sued for violations.
June 11th, 2018, I filed the Second Amended Complaint alleging violations of 40 requests, and naming eight attorneys as defendants, as well as the police chief, city manager, and city clerk for Homestead.
On June 4th, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the MDSAO’s petition for certiorari. McDonough v. Rundle, 862 F.3d 314 (11th Cir. 2017) is now the law of the land.