Monday, January 18, 2021
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The Villages

Tallahassee law firm considered for legal representation for CDD 7

Community Development District 7 is looking at a proposal for legal representation from a Tallahassee law firm.

CDD 7 Supervisor Jerry Vicenti was disappointed that a request-for-proposal process launched by the District garnered only one response. That firm has been deemed not to have the necessary experience to properly represent CDD 7.

Vicenti took it upon himself to seek a legal firm and his search led him to Hopping Green & Sams PA, whose practice includes assisting special districts in the areas of public finance, public procurement, open government and ethics, rule making procedures and construction matters.

Earlier this year, CDD 7 voted to fire law firm Brionez & Brionez after receiving a $10,000 bill for research it had asked attorney Mark Brionez to perform. After the research was done, Brionez indicated he would need to recuse himself from representing CDD 7 at a special meeting because he represents the other CDDs which make up PWAC. He concluded he had a conflict of interest. CDD 7 has hired him back on an hourly basis with the understanding it was searching for a new legal representative.

The board on Thursday agreed to pay a $914.90 bill for Brionez & Brionez for the months of September and October. His rate is $200 per hour.

The attorneys working for Hopping Green & Sams would charge between $310 and $375 per hour. The firm also proposed flat rates of either $24,000 or $36,000 per year, depending on the number of meetings that would require an attorney’s attendance. The CDD 7 board meets monthly, but could require an attorney represent its interests at weekly Architectural Review Committee meetings and monthly PWAC meetings.

The matter was tabled until the December meeting to give supervisors time to review the proposal.

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