Former Broward Health Chair David Di Pietro Wants Taxpayers To Pay His $155k Legal Bill





Six attorneys who successfully sued to block the removal of the Broward Health Chair David Di Pietro from office now wants $155,000 in legal fees and expenses from the state.

The state countered that the request is an “unreasonable attorney’s fee.”



David Di Pietro


In a motion, the state says it owes the attorneys nothing in part because Di Pietro quit Broward Health’s governing board before his victory in Broward Circuit Court could be appealed.

Three lawyers in Di Pietro’s law firm are among those asking for money.

A hearing is expected over the fees “sometime soon,” said Brian Silber, one of Di Pietro’s attorney.

Broward Health is the public health system north of Griffin Road with more than $1 billion in revenues and roughly 8,000 employees. It includes four hospitals and numerous other clinics and physicians practices.  It is run by a board appointed by the governor.

Di Pietro sued Gov. Rick Scott after the governor suspended him on March 18 from the Broward Health board along with fellow board member Darryl Wright.

Scott acted after Florida Chief Inspector General Melinda Miguel accused Di Pietro and Wright of interfering with an investigation of Broward Health’s contracts and business practices.

The suit accused the governor of not having proper grounds to suspend Di Pietro.

On April 11, Broward Circuit Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips agreed with Di Pietro. She found that Di Pietro did nothing to merit suspension and ordered the governor to reinstate him.

Di Pietro quit the Broward Health board three days later before any state appeal of Phillips’ order could be heard.

The question of the legal fees is the only issue that remains.

Di Pietro had six attorneys for his law suit. They are:

*Brian Silber, a criminal defense attorney and courthouse blogger who wants $42,525 in fees at $450 per hour.

*Bruce David Green, a Florida Bar certified aviation attorney who is asking for $49,938 at a rate of $450 per hour,

*Jay Spechler, a former Broward judge who is asking for $45,450 at a rate of $450 per hour,

*Ashley Steffen, Rudy Mayor and Nicole Martell, who are part of Di Pietro’s law firm and asking for $17,122 at $250 per hour.

Green and Spechler all billed for 14 hours of work on March 20.  Silber billed for 15 hours of work. That was the same day as a fundraiser for judicial candidate Michael Lynch in western Davie that all three attended.

Silber said on his timesheet that he arrived at Di Pietro’s office at 10 a.m. on March 20, but it doesn’t say when he left. Having worked 15 hours, he got little sleep that day. Especially since he attended Lynch’s fund raiser in the late afternoon and his picture appeared on Lynch’s campaign Facebook page.


Silber's Timesheet Submitted To Court

Silber’s timesheet submitted to court.






Lynch's Campaign Page

Lynch’s campaign Facebook page for the same date. 



The lawyers say they are owed the fees because his suspension was linked to his duties as a Broward Health commissioner. His legal team cites Florida law and court decisions that require public payment of legal fees when an official is charged with misconduct “while serving a public purpose” is cleared of wrongdoing.

The state contends the laws concerning repayment of legal fees to a public official found innocent of misconduct do not apply because Di Pietro quit before being reinstated by Scott.

State lawyers further allege that there is no law that requires the governor to pay legal fees just because he suspended Di Pietro. The law cited by di Pietro’s lawyers requires the money to be paid by “the county, district or state” and not the governor, the state asserts.

Di Pietro was a political power before he antagonized Scott with his lawsuit which significantly weakened his standing among his Republican contacts. His wife, Broward County Judge Nina Di Pietro, was appointed by the governor and is currently running for election against former Judge Ian Richards and lawyer Brenda Di Ioia. 

Di Pietro did not answer e-mails requesting a comment.


17 Responses to “Former Broward Health Chair David Di Pietro Wants Taxpayers To Pay His $155k Legal Bill”

  1. Zowie says:

    These grifters should be sent to a labor camp.

  2. Di Pietro obsession says:

    As if our “tax dollars” are not spent on other crap that is more ridiculous.

    I like the way you tried to spin the story about the “poor tax payers” in an attempt to continue to slam Di Pietro, even when he has attempted to fall off the radar. Seems to me that there is a little animosity on your part. Jealousy once again shows its ugly face.

    Is this what happens when there is nothing else more interesting or appealing to write about?

    Who. Cares.

  3. Broward Beatnick says:

    Do you have some unhealthy obsession with this mam? He was vindicated after refusing to play ball wroth Big Red, and bucking his own cronies. You’d think you of all people would give him some kudos for that.

    If the guy had to spend his own money fighting a corrupt system and improper action by the King/Governor, and he was actually successful, by God let him be reimbursed. The Governor should indemnify us taxpayers for this BS. A court already told the Governor he was wrong for firing this guy, akin to a whistleblower. We should give him his fees, plus a bonus, and tell Rick to reimburse us for this one. He’s got the cash.

  4. Disgusted says:

    Since our/my tax dollars are spent on other crap that is more ridiculous and as long as only hypocritical Broward democrats pay, I am OK with it.

  5. Vian John Avedisian says:

    A Picture is worth Ten Thousand words.

  6. Boned Nina says:

    Let’s raise the sales tax by a penny countywide to cover his legal fees. Slick move Broward County Commission, we see you.

  7. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Chutzpah in spades

  8. Vote for Di Pietro is a vote for Trump says:

    I didn’t know falling off the radar meant David Di Pietro going on Fox News recently to tout Donald Trump and his picks for the Supreme Court.

  9. Absurd says:

    Enough alread

  10. Yoko Homo says:

    Brian Silber (Hack) @ $450/hr?????? Stinky Poo-Poo.

  11. Stormwatch says:

    So, it took 6 lawyers 373 hours to research one AG report, one article of the Florida Constitution, one rule of appellate procedure, nine pieces of case law, then draft a complaint? Does somebody need a good paralegal? Cause I know one that would crank that shit out in about 2 days. If he had nothing else yo do.
    The complaint is bullshit. Heavy on DiPietro and Wayne Blacks narrative and light on legal substance. And oh by the way, they’re not the prevailing party. They’re entitled to jack shit.I guess they forgot about that rule of civil procedure. $450 an hour? LOL LOL LOL LOL.

  12. Politico covering this as well says:

    Looks like this story is a little more than a obsession of Buddy Nevins. I don’t think Politico would be covering this story if it was merely a personal grudge…

    After beating Scott in court, former Broward Health chair requests payment for legal fees
    By Christine Sexton
    06/27/2016 09:20 AM EDT
    TALLAHASSEE – The feud between Gov. Rick Scott and David Di Pietro, a one-time ally and former chairman of the North Broward Hospital District, has taken a new turn amid a fight over legal fees.
    Di Pietro is asking a Broward County judge to award him nearly $156,000 in legal fees and costs incurred when he hired a team of lawyers to sue Scott after the governor suspended him as chairman of the hospital district.
    More than $17,000 in fees and costs were submitted by Di Pietro’s own law firm, which began working on his legal challenge on March 11, one week before the governor suspended Di Pietro from office.
    In all, six attorneys, including Bruce D. Green, Brian Silber and Jay Spechler, put in a combined 369 hours in little less than a month on the legal challenge. Di Pietro successfully argued that Scott, who accused him of malfeasance, overstepped his authority.
    In their response to Di Pietro, Scott’s attorneys say the former board chairman isn’t entitled to reimbursement because he resigned from his post, which, they say, is a “significant fact” that was “conspicuously omitted” from Di Pietro’s May 6 filing.
    Attorneys for Di Pietro say he is entitled to recover his attorney’s fees and costs by one of two ways – under a state law dealing with the removal of officials from public office, or under practices of common law.
    But Scott’s attorneys say the state law dealing with the removal of public officers does not apply to Di Pietro because it “has been interpreted to apply only where an officer has been reinstated by affirmative action on the part of a governor, the Senate or a court.”
    Di Pietro resigned his post on April 14, three days after Scott appealed a decision from Broward County Circuit Court Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips ordering Scott to reinstate Di Pietro to his appointed post.
    The governor’s attorneys also argue that the law Di Pietro is relying on provides no authority to a circuit court judge to award fees and that only the Florida Senate could award the fees.
    Scott’s attorneys have asked that if the court does award Di Pietro his attorneys fees and costs that a separate hearing be held to discuss the “reasonableness” of the amount he is requesting.
    Billings submitted from the attorneys show that Di Pietro was billed for the time that Spechler and Green spent attending a two-and-a-half-hour emergency meeting of the North Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners. The bill was a combined $1,800.
    Silber also billed Di Pietro for a four-hour meeting and consultation on March 21 which, according to Broward Health’s home page, is when a human resources committee of the board met. That also totaled $1,800.
    Green charged $1,485 “to assemble material for binders, collate and organize” as well as prepare an index. He also charged Di Pietro nearly $200 for six binders and tabs.
    To view online:

  13. Go David! says:

    Go David, make the Gov. pay up for messing with you and trying to destabilize Broward Health.
    At least DDP is not a yes person with no brain like Rocky and Ure.

  14. Bipartisan007 says:

    Disgusted, can’t figure out where you are coming from since DDP is a republican attempting to shell out $156k of tax payer money for his own mistakes, ambitions , and interests. Ask me, typical unaccountable and excessive republican spending for one thing only; for himself. But moving on, DDP has yet to take off his buggies, strap on a pair of big boy panties, and stand up for the community that he is supposed to serve. DDP had no issue with shelling out millions of dollars to Zimmerman. He was in on El Sanadi becoming CEO. He was happy to sit innocently by as BH executives, physicians and friends given rather lucrative contracts with BH all contributed to his wife’s campaign to become judge, gratis Rick Scott. DDP bailed when he saw how low he had sunk and now thinks the tax payers should foot the legal bill for a battle with the governor that DDP squarely walked right into and benefitted from for years? Please. Crawl back under your rug DDP. Damn shame you didn’t do what you really should have done which was to take the governor down with you!


    Was Green and Spechler also at the fundraiser?


    I’m told that all they attended.

  16. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Pay legal bills in 6 states n about as many countries to estate n real estate lawyers n both the time taken n rates are a ripoff.
    That its his own law firm makes the whole thing unpleasant smelling.

  17. Biff Barff says:

    So let me see if I understand correctly.
    1.) DDP becomes chair of BH.
    2.) Moves successful CEO out and brings in inexperienced politically connected ER Doc to run $1 Billion corporation. And then things go from not so bad to darn right awful.
    a.) El Sanadi begins to purge long time senior staff starting with popular SVP Marketing. No one knew at the time the real reason (hire politically connected Ad agency pushed by Chipster)
    b.) COO, General Counsel, CFO, CEO at BG, terminated, in a very short time. All replaced by people with significantly less experience.
    c.) El Sanadi commits suicide. No one knows why? We then find out about investigator Black, the FBI investigations, and on and on and on.
    3.) DDP keeps playing power broker, his firm growing like a weed, his wife collecting $$ for her election, and BH losing money like it has not done in over 10 years! And when did this start? What was the first domino?
    Yep, DDP becomes Chair.
    4.) And all these things changes were being made while the DOJ was investigating!