Family’s Four Decades Reign As City Attorney In Broward Ends

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

Questions concerning thousands of dollars in over billing finally ended the 44-year reign of the Lunny family in the Plantation City Attorney’s Office. 

Donald Lunny Jr., who took over from his father, quit the day after Plantation Mayor Lynn Stoner was elected in November.  Stoner campaigned against the Lunny family’s long-hold on the city attorney job.

Lunny and Lunny Jr. held the job since 1976.

 

Donald Lunny Jr. Is Out

 

 

Replacing Lunny Jr. is veteran government lawyer Kerry Ezrol, the city attorney of Wilton Manors for the past 23 years. He is a shareholder in Goren, Cherof, Doody, Ezrol, PA., a Fort Lauderdale firm that has handled legal work for a wide group of governments since the 1970s. 

 

Kerry Ezrol Is In

 

 

Ezrol was chosen from nine applicants short listed by a committee of staff and citizens, including former School Board member and Plantation resident Lois Wexler.

Stoner said she took no part in the selection committee. The Council unanimously approved hiring Ezrol last month. 

The incident that triggered Lunny Jr.’s fall was the losing law suit that attempted to shut down a massive Christmas display at a Plantation Acres home. 

Plantation resident Sam Fields, an attorney and Browardbeat.com writer, contacted the City Council complaining that the roughly $450,000 in legal bills on the suit were questionable.

“On a scale of one-to-ten  –-  one being a traffic ticket and 10 being a homicide case  –-  this was a two…How they reached a legal bill that large is beyond me…If you read a bill and can’t figure out what work was done, the bill is questionable,” Fields told the Council in 2017.

Council members who agreed with Fields were stonewalled by then-Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic. 

Bendekovic’s father Frank Veltri was mayor when Lunny Jr.’s father was hired in 1975.  Bendekovic was strangely loyal to Lunny family and refused to consider any criticism of them. 

How loyal?  

When I challenged the Lunny’s lengthy tenure in a 2011 Browardbeat.com post, the mayor showed up at my house with documents to “prove” Lunny Jr.  was doing a good job.

Stoner won the mayor’s job from the retiring Bendekovic in November 6, 2018 on a platform that included considering others for the city attorney job.

Lunny Jr. “quit the day after the election,”  Stoner recalled.

Stoner had no immediate estimate on how much money Ezrol would earn in a year compared to Lunny. But she pledged to “keep an eye on every dollar.”

She has already instructed staff in front of Ezrol to refrain from calling the attorney unless it is absolutely necessary. “They need to think twice about (running up) billable hours,” Stoner said. 

During the few meetings since being named, Ezrol has already proved vastly different from Lunny Jr.

The former attorney was sometimes criticized for interjecting himself into Council discussions. 

Said Stoner: “Kerry doesn’t participate like Lunny.”

After more than four decades, the Lunny family departure merited only one sentence in the Council minutes after he left. 

Council member Denise Horland “acknowledged the dedicated service of Don Lunny…and thanked the Lunny family.”



7 Responses to “Family’s Four Decades Reign As City Attorney In Broward Ends”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Saw that Lois Wexler was on the committee to seek a new city atty.Have tremendous amount of respect for her.Glad to see she is still actively involved in her community….Special thanks to her for county Alzheimer’s proclamations,year after year..Thank you,Mrs.Wexler….

  2. Layne Walls says:

    Great choice- and it brings with it the backing of the best governmental firm around.

  3. Sally says:

    Notice who kissed Lunny’s butt on the way out the door. Denise Horland is the old Mayor and the useless Chamber’s last island of support on the commission. I have no idea why she is beholden to those clowns who do nothing for her or our city.

  4. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Lois Wexler NEVER LOST A CHSNCE TO THROW AWAY OUR TAX MONEY.

  5. Good Choice says:

    Good choice. Excellent firm. I am sure that Kerry will do a great job.

  6. Old Regime Stinks says:

    Jacobs + Horland + Anderson + Sortal are all beholden to the old regime and will do anything in their power to go against the new Mayor. All of them are a big disappointment since being elected.

  7. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #4 Mrs.Wexler has more connections than Henry Kissinger and could eat u for breakfast,lunch and dinner…

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