Political Powerful Atty Retired, Now Wants New Gig





I’ve had my ups and downs with veteran attorney Stuart Michelson.

Mostly downs. 

Michelson and his wife, former County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman Michelson, were a premier political power couple for decades.

He was a city attorney and ethics law specialist who took on high profile cases and causes. She was Lauderhill mayor and then a Broward County Commissioner.

They frequently made news. That is what introduced them to me.

As the Sun-Sentinel’s political columnist, I wrote my take on the news. Often the couple viewed what I wrote as hostile.  

But that was yesterday. 

Today Stuart Michelson looks like a hero trying to save his beleaguered community, Tamarac. 

Michelson is running for the Tamarac City Commission.

Not a moment too soon.  



Stuart Michelson (courtesy of Tamaractalk.com)


Tamarac needs new faces in City Hall, which has been racked by turmoil the last few years. 

Most of the chaos can be blamed on three City Commissioners — Mike Gelin, Marlon Bolton and Elvin Villalobos.  Those three have turned the city into a three-ring circus. 

Meetings devolved as Roberts Rules of Order was tossed out.  Investigations have dogged City Hall.

Authorities are looking into allegations of inside dealing. 

They are looking into allegations of the unlawful use of public money. 

And bribery. And extortion. And whole statute books of legal shenanigans. 

State law enforcement’s net has already snagged the former city manager, who was accused last year of a $3 million-plus extortion scheme. 

The investigation  — which includes state cops and the Feds —continues. It is active, I am told.

All this mess makes Michelson look better and better. 

Although Michelson is no angel, he has plenty going for him. 

He spent a lifetime running a law practice, understanding and following the law. He knows how to conduct himself in public. He knows how to represent his clients, in this case the voters and taxpayers of Tamarac. 

Michelson and his wife Ilene let their Bar licenses expire when they retired, so there is no possible conflict with personal legal work. 

Yes, Michelson been involved in controversy. Currently he is part of a lengthy battle to block development of roughly 400 homes on the golf course of Woodlands, where he lives. 

Despite his work against the Woodlands project, he’s no single issue candidate. 

TamaracTalk.com quoted Michelson as saying his “legal experience, and particularly my involvement in the field of municipal law, makes me uniquely qualified to address the issues facing the City of Tamarac….

“At some point in time, cities need to learn that their infrastructure can’t support unending development…This is a real problem in Tamarac…our infrastructure can only handle so much development.”

Michelson is running for the seat now held by Gelin, who is apparently running for mayor.

(Just a little what the Sun-Sentinel’s Lisa Huriash wrote about Gelin illustrates what has been happening in Tamarac City Hall: 

“Gelin has ‘angled for outlandish financial benefits for commissioners…a look at Bolton’s history reveals a string of questionable episodes, including a sealed arrest, bullied city employees, political posturing and financial mismanagement.’”)

This is Michelson’s first run for elected office.  

He will soon find out if voters want a commissioner making deals to enrich themselves or making deals for the residents of Tamarac? Whether the next commissioner acts like a law school graduate or a graduate of the clown college?

Stay tuned.



(Note:  tamaractalk.com and redbroward.com have broken many stories of the strange doings in Tamarac City Hall. Check them out.)


4 Responses to “Political Powerful Atty Retired, Now Wants New Gig”

  1. Richard J Kaplan says:

    Congratulations and Good Luck on Stuart’s campaign.

  2. Lori Parrish says:

    I am proud of Stuart for stepping forward to help save his neighborhood and his city! I know he will do an excellent job for the taxpayers! Hopefully others will step up too!

  3. Anonymous says:

    He is overqualified for City Commission so he should make a good commissioner. First he must win, which will not be easy because Tamarac is divided white/black.

  4. Strucil C says:

    This is great news. There are certainly three corrupt individuals mentioned in this story earlier, they called them city commissioners. These three individuals are out only to enrich themselves and could not care in the slightest about the community they are supposed to serve. Unfortunately I have seen this firsthand as I live right down the road from one of them and I am familiar with their antics and other things because of firsthand knowledge.