Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
During Myron Rosner's tumultuous reign as mayor of North Miami Beach, he weathered accusations that he retaliated against a local blogger, broke ethics rules, bent city regulations to work on his house, and violated campaign finance laws.
Now that he's out of office, Rosner's luck is up. Prosecutors charged him today with four felonies and five misdemeanors over allegations filed by local blogger Stephanie Kienzle that he misspent campaign money and took free advertising on bus benches.
Rosner's attorney, Ben Kuehne, hasn't returned a call and an email from Riptide to comment on the charges; we'll update the post if we hear back.
Rosner's troubles go back to a complaint filed with the Florida Elections Commission by blogger Kienzle, who alleged the former mayor failed to report the cost of dozens of bus bench ads he placed around North Miami Beach.
The ex-mayor also took free advertising from the same company "so the company would avoid losing the city bus bench contract," prosecutors say in a release.
"I knew from day one there was something really fishy with those signs," Kienzle says. "I became obsessed with those freaking benches. I was seeing them in my sleep. But I just knew he'd done something wrong."
Rosner now faces a litany of charges: two felony counts of unlawful compensation or reward for official behavior; felony counts of grand theft and worthless check; and misdemeanor counts of illegal campaign expenditures, false expenditure reports, illegal contributions, knowledge of unlawful campaign reporting and insufficient funds in a campaign account.
Though Kienzle and Rosner clashed repeatedly over her writing at votersopinion.com
-- including the mayor sending code enforcement to her house after a particularly scathing post -- the blogger says her campaign wasn't personal.
"I cannot stand corruption in government," she says. "It's a personal pet peeve of mine. I am so sick of corrupt politicians in this town."
Update: Kuehne sent Riptide a statement, saying that Rosner did his best to follow "complex" campaign laws and any missteps were "neither intentional nor harmful." Here's the statement:
Myron Rosner has long been a dedicated community activist and public official. He has served his community honorably as Mayor and Council Member for the City of North Miami Beach. His life has been focused on the betterment of his community within the allowable limits of the law. As a political candidate, he has always attempted to follow the complex requirements of Election and Campaign Finance Laws. He is confident he has done his best to comply with the law, and any errors that resulted were neither intentional nor harmful. Just as he has put his public official life behind him, he expects to be able to move beyond this current misunderstanding. He thanks the community for the support shown for him.