Update: Stuart Michelson Gets More Sunrise Legal Work


Sunrise City Attorney Stuart Michelson is supposed to leave his job this month, but will stay on the government payroll to handle at least one law suit.


Michelson by a 3 to 2 vote Tuesday got a new Sunrise gig which will stretch beyond the time he leaves city hall.

Voting for Michelson were the longest tenured members of the commission — Sheila Alu, Don Rosen and Joey Scuotto. Mayor Mike Ryan and Commissioner Larry Sofield, elected in November, voted against hiring him.

He will work as outside counsel once  he leaves the city attorney’s office.  He agreed to stay until a replacement is chosen, which could come as soon as Thursday.

Here is the agenda item:

B)  Services   –  (M11008)  –

Motion to retain Law Office of Stuart R. Michelson to represent the City of Sunrise in all claims for damages and other relief arising from the damage to the City’s 50 meter Olympic Pool and granting authority to Mr. Michelson to hire necessary experts as required by the litigation. Commissioner Sheila D. Alu.

Michelson—he’s Mr. Ilene Lieberman to those in politics—may be on to a good thing here.  He could conceivably end up pocketing more than the $432,000 his yearly Sunrise City Attorney contract if he gets even more work in the future referred to him.

He did a great deal of legal work for Sunrise before taking over as city attorney in August 2008.

Although the Sunrise City Attorney’s job was lucrative, Michelson didn’t take home every dime in his contract. He had to pay the salaries of an assistant city attorney and secretary.

The idea to rehire Michelson comes from Alu, who has been his biggest supporter on the Sunrise commission.

Alu, a prosecutor, says it made sense for Michelson to handle the suit involving the defects in the city swimming pool.

“He has been working on this for a year and a halfhe has been very successful with suits for us, she says

She is right.  Before he was hired as city attorney, Michelson collected millions for Sunrise from law suits he handled.

After this was initially posted, Alu expanded on her comments in an e-mail:

“He has collected over $590,000 since becoming our city attorney.
There is no reason why Stuart shouldn’t continue to represent the City. He has been very successful in litigation work on behalf of the City. Moreover, he has been working on the litigation relating to the pool for over a year and a half. In addition, he will no longer be our City Attorney after April, so I see no issue.”

She also posted several comments below.

Michelson’s job ended after Mayor Ryan, also a lawyer, won election last year.  Ryan said he wanted to put the city attorney contract out for bid and Michelson ended up quitting.

Michelson created a storm of negative publicity from the moment he was hired. He was handed a no-bid contract by commissioners, many who had personal connections to him or political connections to his wife, County Commissioner Lieberman.

24 Responses to “Update: Stuart Michelson Gets More Sunrise Legal Work”

  1. Stone Cold's Bottom Line says:

    should Sheila Alu be investigated by the State Attorney’s office for this.,…..oh, wait,she works for the StateAttorney’s office….so sorry….

    Sheila, why are you doing this??????? it looks and smells horrriiiiible!!

    Why isn’t the City Manager’s office directing and giving this work? Sheila, did you and Stuart and Ilene talk about this???,,,,

  2. Sunrise Resident says:

    Sheila is Ilene’s choice to replace her on the county commission.

  3. Commissioner Alu says:

    1. Buddy:
    I realize that I have accumulated enemies due to my work with the FBI in the indictments of numerous elected officials on corruption charges. I do not, nor will I apologize for my involvement. Everyday there are horrendous crimes committed against the innocent people of Broward County. For me, there are no worse crimes then those who violate the public trust. Those indicted and those about to be indicted will anonymously post comments defaming me and calling my position and involvement in these cases into question. Regardless, I remain strong in my commitment to rid this County from this type of behavior.
    Just to stop any innuendo and anonymous blogging let me set the record straight. The comment that Ilene is endorsing me, thus I need to continue to hire Stuart to represent the City is ridiculous. First of all, I haven’t made any concrete decision to run for County Commission. More importantly, I do not need Ilene’s endorsement to run for this seat. However, I mean no disrespect toward Ilene. My decision to put this item on the agenda is based on the fact that Stuart has worked on this case for over a year-and-half. He knows more about this litigation than any other attorney. Stuart has worked for the City since 1985, and he has been extremely successful in representing the City. I believe the issue that Mayor Ryan has with Michelson is personal. However, I only make decisions based on what is right for the City. I will not get involved in their personal issues. I just want the City to get reimbursed from the pool company/ insurance company for their shoddy work. That is it plain and simple!
    My critics can say what you want. Arrest will still continue, and I will still do what I believe is in the best interest of the City and for the people of Broward County.

  4. sunriseoversite says:

    Well commisioner based on some of the meetings I have seen I believe your relatioonship with stuart and Ilene is personal. Now with being said I believe that Mayor Ryan tried to fast track the fixing of the pool because it has been that way for almost 18 months two years now. I do remember commissioner scuotto asking how come we can build a building costing millions of dollars in one year but
    we can’t seem to build. A one million
    n dollar pool. We can spend 6million on a
    golf course and that is complete and loses
    a cool million a year and no one blinks an
    eye. Now for some reason the city
    attorneys job is out to bid and you
    commissioner are adding this to the
    agenda why??? Because you believe that
    stuart is the only one who can win the
    case ? Well as a taxpayer I can tell you
    that it doesn’t make me happy that you

    are pushing for him again like the no bid contract. Now I don’t care about your FBI stories or all the other stories floating
    around about you . As a taxpayer I am
    telling you that I have lost trust in all of
    you when it comes to Mr Michelson and
    that may not even be his fault. I believe in
    the process of putting all jobs out to bid
    and that’s what you all should have done
    maybe he would have won the bid and he
    would still be here today. A must see comission meeting maybe a you tube video and so many more good moments. September 23 this 213:33 no relationship with my friend Ilene LIberman 2:23 same meeting. Unfair process for stuart.These things that are sending the wrong message commissioner. Mayor you encouraged the current commissioners to hear the residents of this city to put that contract out to bid GOOD JOB !!!! Maybe you should run for county along with Porth.

  5. Sunrise resident says:

    You overemphasize your importance in an FBI investigation. You made some introductions of undercover agents and then disappeared. A few hellos doesn’t make you one of the Police Women of Broward County. If you were so concerned about crime fighting, why is your sponsor and major political supporter Ilene Lieberman a government witness who has been given immunity from her own crimes? Lieberman getting immunity means she is just as corrupt as anybody. You are just another politician trying to give work to your friend and residents are sick of your phoniness.

  6. sunriseoversite says:

    Commissioner Alu you believe in the process of things with the positions you hold I’m sure. So stick to it because it works and thatts why its in place. No more back door deals we the taxpayers of this city are here and are watching and are talking. We are not talking about the FBI stuff. Pulling the whole cape cruisader stuff just doesn’t work for me. You did the right thing but Its over now and the only one who needs to move on from that is you. You are a political there is no doubt but you are not fooling everyone if the elderly were to watch the entire meeting or stay for it I don’t think many of them would agree with you past behaviors. We ARE TAXPAYERS we don’t rent here and I believe that when Mayor Ryan got into office he spoke for the people in this community. Which I believe that you and your fellow commissioners who have been there for a thousand years has lost touch with.

  7. Commissioner Sheila Alu says:

    sunriseoversite says:

    You might want to take a look at the last election results. I won my re-election by a landslide. I am sure you are not suggesting that only Mayor Ryan represents the residents of Sunrise because that surely wasn’t indicative based on my overwhelming support. It is the entire board who represent the residents of Sunrise.

    We are at times not going to agree on issues, but for the most part we are one common voice.

    You may disagree with me on this issue. You are entitled to opinion. However, you are not entitled to your own set of facts. This is a vote before the commission tonight. It’s either a yes or no.

    Oh and it really is not necessary to personally attack someone to get your message across. In essence, it makes your position less credible.

    Hope to see you at the meeting tonight!

  8. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    First of all when does this woman actually do work? Guess who other then Att/Comm Alu. Here she is blogging while working as a Ast.State Att. One would think that she would be handling criminal cases(doing her job). Nope she’s busy doing damage control Buddy. Did you here her speech she does all this for the public etc. Its no secret your friends w/ Comm.Lieberman, and who are you foolong -like you have no interest in the County Comm. seat(bs). Oh I know all your work for the FBI. When are you going to get it through your head you are an informant for the FBI(SNITCH). No more no less, again there are thousands of you. No one else could sue some pool company but Comm.Lieberman husband huh? Run Sheila run for anything your little heart tells you to. Get back to work.Another one goofing off on our dime. Officer of the court blogging, using State Att.Off. software?. Some of you try that at work and get caught i’m sure you would be reprimanded if not fired(are you seeing all this Att.Satz???)For the last time Clarice Starling your not.

  9. commissioner alu says:

    Hey Walsh:

    For your information I took annual leave today. You really do need to learn how to spell. Now go stalk someone else.

    Buddy where do you find these people?

  10. Please says:

    I see on other boots people say judy stern, is an informant if this is shown to be true mr Walsh would you be this harsh on your pal?

  11. sunriseoversite says:

    No comissioner I am not saying that Mayor Ryan is a one man show what I am saying is that resident have been complaining about the michelson issue for years and you know it you said it yourself. ” Stuart I love you but we have had to deal with this issue of a NO BID contract for years during election cycles all of you have. What I see is that Mayor Ryan dealt with the issue that the residents have been complaing about . Now there is a process yes?? You all didn’t follow that process ?? No . Why not ???? And I hope the lawyer doesn’t cost more that the pool

  12. sunriseoversite says:

    Also commissioner if what I am saying is so beneath you then you don’t have to respond to any of it.

  13. Alu Supporter says:

    Commissioner (lol),
    Yes you technically won your election by a large margin against a nobody opponent who managed to get almost 5,000 votes! Imagine if you had a truly competent adversary.
    Secondly, if you truly had your finger on the pulse of what Sunrise residents are feeling, then you should have given a little more respect to your residents regarding your time today. I would presume that anyone that knows anything knows that you work for the S.A.’s office, after all during your last election; you couldn’t keep your mouth shut about how you worked as an Assistant S.A. for Mike Satz during Commission meetings. Let me explain the respect issue. Your statements make it sound like you believe that your constituents don’t pay attention to what is going on in your city. As if they do not know when you should or shouldn’t be at your Assistant State’s Attorney for Mike Satz job.
    Not that I care where you are on a daily basis, but I would have to presume that you are at your full-time job while participating in an online pathetic attempt to defend your incorrect decision regarding this issue. Therefore, if you are so concerned about the Sunrise residents, you should have opened your ill-fated defense with advising your constituents that you were not at your Assistant State’s Attorney for Mike Satz job, but on vacation. However, you just let everyone believe that you were at you Assistant State’s Attorney or Mike Satz job until you were called to the carpet for it. And, when was that vacation requested? One minute after you were challenged on the blog?
    I know it’s not election time but I figure I would give you’re your “I work as an Assistant State’s Attorney for the wonderful Mike Satz,” plug for you during this post. Maybe that will help your next landslide victory over a nobody.

  14. Sunrise resident says:

    I read in the Sun-Sentinel that Deerfield Beach Commissioner Sylvia Poitier is going to get arrested. Get your speech ready. By tomorrow you will have convinced yourself that you were behind her arrest, too.

  15. GREAT LAWYER says:

    I agree with Alu. Michelson is the best lawyer in Broward, if not the entire State or universe. If you have a legal case that involves construction or a pool or whatever, why go to a specialist in that particular area? Michelson can handle anything and everything, especially if it is a parting gift for our departing contestant. You are all so cynical thinking that this is about friendship and politics.

  16. Sheila Said says:

    Alu should abstain from any vote involving Michelson since he was her private lawyer. THAT’S A CONFLICT, HONEY.

  17. Alu Supporter says:

    Politicians need to remember that they are elected to make decisions that are in the best interest of the citizens they represent, not for self-interest. Unfortunately, the only recourse citizens have for poorly performing politicians are at the election polls, and at times, those are never soon enough.

    Last night a line was placed in the sand dividing true politicians with ethics and those who reward clandestine backdoor deals with their friends, or with any other person who may have the ability to further their self-interests (county politics).

    So, I sound the whistle today marking the start of the race for your job as a Sunrise representative. You three (Alu, Scuotto, Rosen) didn’t display any type of reasonable objecttivity or openmindedness. The decision was predetermined prior to the onset of the meeting.

    PROOF: Alu quickly moved to have two item moved up on the agenda to be voted on prior to Scuotto leaving. She had to make sure the predetermined votes were present. If Scuotto were not oresent it would have locked at 2-2.

    Let the Sunshine In!

  18. Floridan says:

    Alu should abstain from any vote involving Michelson since he was her private lawyer. THAT’S A CONFLICT, HONEY.

    Each situation has to be judged on its specific circumstances, but all else being equal, this is not a conflict of interest that would require Alu to abstain from voting.

    The conflict of interest guidelines are fairly clear; an elected official must declare a conflict and abstain from voting only if, as a result of the official’s vote, he or she (or an employer or relative) receives a special private gain or loss. If the vote does not meet this criterion, then it is not a conflict and the elected official has an affirmative duty to vote on the matter.

    The fact that Alu may have hired Michelson in the past does not constitute a conflict of interest, any more than shopping at Publix would prevent you from voting for a zoning change for the construction of a new Publix supermarket.

  19. Sheila Said says:

    Alu may not be violating ethics laws and still be unethical.
    Voting to hire her own attorney and considering no one else is sleazy. This happened both on Michelson’s original contract and current outside counsel job. There is nobody be Floridan above who thinks this is right. It is the policy of funneling work to your friends that voters have rebelled against.

  20. The Real/Fake Sheila Alu says:

    Pardon the oxymoron of the name: I just want to set the record straight.

    I realize that I have accumulated enemies due to my work with the FBI in the indictment of John Dillinger on numerous corruption charges, but I just wanted to reveal that I am in fact Anna Sage. To some of you this is not a surprise, but it’s true.

  21. Alu's full of it says:

    To quote the Commissioner; “First of all, I haven’t made any concrete decision to run for County Commission.” Of course. That’s why she hired a top gun like Dan Lewis to run a small city race against a nobody. Alu could have sat back and done nothing and still win. Was she that afraid of not keeping her seat? I don’t think so. But hey, for somebody who hasn’t made a “concrete decision” her intent was plastered online by both Broward Beat and the Pulp on the same day. I’m guessing that Buddy and the Pulp weren’t consulting crystal balls to come up with that same news. So who gave you the tip, Buddy? Alu or Lewis?

  22. sunriseoversite says:

    Guess this is old news now lol. Watching that’s was so funny like she didn’t already have the vote. Hearing Rosen say I have a problem with that tells he made up his mind and joey and shelia well they will always have mexico.

  23. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Big Bad Sheila Alu huh? Like your not blogging when you are at the State Att. Off. you damn better have had annual leave. It doeasn’t matter , and yes the spelling is alot to be desired . who the hell do you think you are.? I’ll tell you an informant with the FBI. No more no less. Run for county, city whatever. With all the bs about you and the alleged affairs?. Seems to me w/ all that I hear about you, who haven’t you slept with? Who are you to judge anyone else?. You my lady are out for Sheila Alu and Sheila only. You will rat, snitch, back stab anyone just to get ahead(you know it). Every time you talk you put your foot in your mouth. Everyone knows you have alligance to the Liebermans. Judy Stern has nothing to do with this comment either. As an Officer of the Court I would expect more, but you know you do not represent me nor do I care for you style. As if you did not already know this. Who you going after next? Come on you needed Lieberman’s husband to dispute a pool contract and how big of him to lower his fees. No one else could have handled this dispute but him huh? Sure. This is to easy.

  24. Dr. Evil says:

    To city activist robert walsh:

    It appears that you know her to well. Is that because you are one of the 90,000 men in Broward who have a members only key to her canyon?

    I’m starting to get suspicious…