Commission Votes Insider Moskowitz More Money


It has happened again:  The Broward County Commission signed a contract and gone back and upped it.


Mike Moskowitz

This time the beneficiary is political insider Mike Moskowitz.  His firm Moskowitz, Mandall, Salim & Simowitz is getting $130,000, instead of the original agreed upon figure of $100,000 an increase of almost 30 percent!

Moskowitz is the county’s Democratic state committeeman and is thisclose to Commissioners Ilene Lieberman and Stacy Ritter.

The lawyer signed a contract about six months ago to do legal work for the county.  The cap was $100,000.

Commissioners decided this month that the cap was too low.  They added $30,000 to it.

The vote was 8-0 with Ritter abstaining.  Moskowitz represents Ritter’s husband, Russ Klenet, in a lawsuit.

Moskowitz’s firm co-counseled with the county attorney’s office on a lawsuit against Broward County involving a stevedore franchise at Port Everglades.  The suit was dismissed with prejudice a victory for the Moskowitz team.

“The revised budget cap in the amount of $130,000 will allow payment of all outstanding invoices for legal fees and costs and provide a nominal amount for any remaining wrap-up work, said the county attorney’s office in a memo to the commissioners.

Moskowitz told me earlier this year he charges the county $250-an-hour and said taxpayers were getting a bargain.  He said he charges private clients at least $475-an-hour. 

In this recession, I wonder how many private clients are flocking to any lawyer’s door?

4 Responses to “Commission Votes Insider Moskowitz More Money”

  1. Worth Every Penny says:

    Everybody knows. Mike gets the job done when others can’t or won’t. That makes him worth every penny. Let others disagree by pointing to facts.

  2. Mike Had The Inside Track says:

    “Others can’t or won.” How do you know, Worth Every Penny? The commission only considered using Moskowitz. When you hold fund raisers for the right commissioners, you get the work.

  3. How to Define REAL Talent says:

    Let’s say you’re a county commissioner and you have a problem in the government that requires the services of a good lawyer with an excellent track record for performance. You can select anyone you want because that’s how it should be with legal services. But let’s even say that you’re looking at two very talented people to choose from. Let’s go further and say they are equally talented.

    Both have excellent credentials and track records.

    One also has decades of involvement in the local political process and so he understands government, the players, special insights about the environment around which he has to work. He’s built up a reputation over many years for being trusted among elected leaders. He also has decades of involvement in the community, serving on non-profit boards, doing countless hours of pro-bono work, raising millions for charities, serving as a party delegate, that kind of thing. All in addition to being a great lawyer. Got the picture?

    The other guy is also a good lawyer but after work he mostly goes home, jumps in his pool, and then goes out to dinner. Not much of a community profile but a good lawyer nonetheless.

    Who do you pick?

    End of discussion.

    PS — And pardon the suggestion, but there’s not a GD thing wrong about that. Everthing else said here is sour grapes.

  4. Robert Baerenwald says:

    I don’t have a problem with paying someone what they are asking for when they get the job done and are worth the cost. My interest is this, in a time when the County Commission is terrorizing everyone about money, they added an additional 30% to an existing contract. Now, did Esq. Moskowitz come to the commission and ask for more? Was this necessary to complete his (their) work? Did the Commission take this upon themselves as some sort of “good faith” measure? Here at the working man’s level, if I agree to do something for someone for a set ammount, whether I give them a deal or not and whether I make money or lose money, I stick to the terms of my agreement, verbal, written or otherwise. So in this time of cutbacks, how did this play out? I am not questioning Esq. Moskowitz, I am questioning our County Commission.