Marc Sarnoff Uses Taxpayer-Funded Lawyer For Personal Battle

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Marc Sarnoff gets private legal help from an assistant city attorney.
On Dec. 14, Miami Police officers hauled off Reid Welch to jail because he sent his nemesis, Miami city Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, an email. According to his arrest report, Welch violated a temporary restraining order prohibiting him from contacting Sarnoff and his wife.

Welch's arrest is the latest skirmish involving the commissioner and his propane-huffing nemesis, whose lawyer Jason Wandner argues Sarnoff is abusing city resources to build a case against his client.

Sarnoff is represented by assistant city attorney George Wysong even though the commissioner's ongoing battle with Welch is a personal matter that is unrelated to city business.

"I've filed a motion to have Wysong disqualified," Wandner says. "Mr. Sarnoff is not entitled to a free city lawyer for a private court battle."

Furthermore, Wysong is the assitant city attorney who represents the Miami Police Department, which has previously identified Welch as Sarnoff's victim. "Wysong has a conflict of interest," Wandner says.

During Sarnoff's re-election run, Welch was riding around Coconut Grove's residential streets tearing down and defacing the commissioner's campaign signs that had been placed on public rights-of-way.

On Oct. 30, Sarnoff and Welch got into a brief scuffle. According to a Miami Police incident report, Welch was identified as the "victim." He alleged Sarnoff tackled him and then threatened to kill him.

Almost a month later, Sarnoff and his wife successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against Welch, which prohibited him from coming within 500 feet of the couple. He was also barred from sending them emails or writing about them on an online cycling message board.

Sarnoff now alleges Welch violated the restraining order a week ago when he sent him an email. "The content of the electronic mail leads the victim to a specific blog in which a clear message is sent to the victim," the police report states, although it does not specify if Welch actually threatened Sarnoff.

Wandner claims his client is at unfair disadvantage since Sarnoff's lawyer also represents the Miami Police Department. "Reid went to the city clerk's office to obtain information for his defense," Wandner says. "He was informed in writing that he had to go to the Miami Police Department. The clerk carbon copied Wysong so he immedietly knew what we were looking for."

Welch's lawyer also suspects Wysong may have directly contacted the cops to arrest his client without first obtaining a warrant. Wysong could not be reached for comment. His boss, City Attorney Julie Bru, has repeatedly ignored our messages asking her why Wysong is representing Sarnoff. 

Reached on his cellphone, the commissioner says the city attorney's office is representing him because the only reason Welch is harassing him is because he is an elected official. "He wouldn't be bothering me if I wasn't a commissioner," Sarnoff says. "So it is a city issue."

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8 comments
Abuse the taxpayers
Abuse the taxpayers

Sarnoff has had a personal relationship with Reid Welch for 15-20 years. It is personal. Sarnoff is using taxpayer money to fight a personal battle.

Arrest Sarnoff
Arrest Sarnoff

Sarnoff was caught on video tape attacking Reid Welch from behind. Reid never saw the attack coming. Now Sarnoff uses taxpayer money and a City attorney to keep Reid in jail.

Another stooge
Another stooge

Lobbyists tell Sarnoff what to do and how to vote. Another corrupt pol.

El Creepo
El Creepo

In November 2011 Sarnoff attacked Reid from behind.  Reid's camera was running.  Why wasn't Sarnoff indicted?

Sarnoff is a creep.

John
John

Welch is insane. He harrasses the Sarnoff at his home. And he does so because Sarnoff is a COMMISSIONER. This issue is not unrelated to city business, it has everything to do with Sarnoff's position. If a nut began harrassing you, Alvarado, at your home for what you wrote, would you call it personal or related to the Miami New Times?  Welch explicitly violated a restraining order and brought the fight to the commissioner's home. If he wants to fight the commissioner, he can go to the city commission. It's odd that you would take the position that citizens should be defended and supported by the press when they act like savages.

Nate Philips
Nate Philips

And Mr. Sarnoff is a first-rate scumbag at that. Back when he was megaphone mouthing how he stood up Miami residents as the shadow of the over-developer boom loomed then crashed on us (remember the first - The Jade?) he was incensed when I wrote him about his duplicity - say one thing, do another. Turns out he's just another member of Miami's elite Campaign Contribution Cornhole Club. Hey, look where being an unmitigated and shameless liar, cheat, and thief got Mr. Rubio - to the perfect job with the perfect political curriculum vitae and much to our lament.

glass slipper
glass slipper

Good job Miami, you keep electing the same scumbags over and over and this is what you get.

P_Nis
P_Nis

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me whether or not I can run my BBQ off of the fumes that Reid emits?

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