Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff gets new digs

Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is starting the new year in new office digs. As reported by New Times previously, the Coconut Grove politician's law firm was operating out of a townhouse at 3000 Shipping Ave. until Sarnoff's enemies reported him to city code enforcers for allegedly running an illegal business from his home. Sarnoff received two notices of violations from the city last year, prompting our recall campaign.

Well, the commissioner — who pushed colleagues to embrace higher ethical standards — has relocated to 201 Biscayne Boulevard, an office tower in downtown Miami. But he is still skirting the ethical line, according to city hall gadfly and blogger, Al Crespo.

On his blog, The Crespo-Gram Report, the acerbic watchdog chronicles his trip down to Sarnoff's new digs last week. Crespo notes that Sarnoff is renting space from the law firm of Allen and Solowsky, which serves as outside legal counsel for the Downtown Development Authority, which Sarnoff chairs.

Crespo claims Sarnoff's sharing an office with Allen and Solowsky "raises a conflict of interest question about the chairman of the DDA board of directors now practicing law in the offices of the DDA's outside counsel."

Crespo also chides Sarnoff for hogging a special street parking spot in front of the office building. The space, usually reserved for city officials on city business, now has a sign that reads: Reserved: City Commissioner Only/Tow-Away.

"In short, he abuses the power of his office by parking in a space that should only be used on official business," Crespo writes. Sarnoff did not return two calls for comment.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.