Plea Deal: Miami City Attorney Resigns, Gets 1 Year Probation
Posted Feb 15, 2008 1:28 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Following criticism last year over his lavish spending of city money on municipal legal perks, Miami's city attorney has agreed to resign and plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of making false official statements.
Jorge Fernandez is to receive one year of probation under a plea deal that concludes a criminal investigation into his use of the city attorney's $10,000-a-year expense account, reports the Miami Herald. He will also repay $3,093 in questionable charges.
''He clearly is contrite, which means he recognizes his mistakes,'' says Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle.
As discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, Fernandez' lavish spending--including $300,000 on an office renovation, $1,500 on a lunch tab and expense-paid staff training trips to Hawaii and Cancun--sparked criticism.
However, such perks were part of his vision of the city's municipal law office as "world-class law firm serving a world-class city," Fernandez told the Miami Herald at that time, and most or all of his office expenses apparently were approved by other city officials, the newspaper pointed out.