Will City Attorney Mayanne Downs take a leave of absence to represent Democrats in this politically charged case?
By Jacob Engels
In a move that reflects an admission of involvement in the libelous flyers being distributed by Buddy Dyer and the Florida Democrat Party, Dyer best friend and City Attorney Mayanne Downs has emerged to represent the individual named in the lawsuit for making disparaging remarks about Paul Paulson.
“Amazing that the City of Orlando attorney is representing an individual in a highly charged political legal battle which clearly represents a conflict of interest as well as using a taxpayer funded lawyer to defend Buddy Dyer, which is an outrage,” stated Mike Shirley, campaign Manager for the Paul Paulson campaign. “As with many things Dyer does, the line between using our taxpayer funds and private activities is very blurry,” he concluded.
Paulson and the Help The Vets, Inc. charity sued Dyer, Florida Democrat Party and Mr. Clark Ricke yesterday in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court. Ricke, allegedly a fellow veteran makes very disparaging remarks about Paulson and the Help the Vets group in a recent flyer mailed by the Democrat Party and the Dyer campaign.
Ricke is not an Orlando resident and actually lives in Pasco County and has no personal knowledge of any wrongdoing that he accuses Paulson of conducting. Downs, a prominent attorney with the powerhouse law firm GrayRobinson, is not only the city attorney but one of Dyer’s best friends, an association that goes back to University of Florida law school. It was Downs who provided her home for Dyer to hide out overnight while avoiding the Grand Jury indictment for illegal vote buying and absentee voter fraud in 2004.
Calls to the Mayor’s office, the City Attorney’s office and the law offices of GrayRobinson were not returned and individuals in those offices indicating that Ms. Downs was not available for comment. GrayRobinson is the beneficiary of very lucrative City contracts as well as Down’s payments as City Attorney.
In an unusual arrangement, Dyer signed off on Down’s being able to represent both private clients and the City during her contract period, a move that was roundly criticized when Dyer implemented it.
“Now it appears that relationship has come in very handy in the ongoing and ever expanding investigation and lawsuit against Dyer and the Democrat Party,” stated Doug Guetzloe, a consultant with the Paulson campaign and a former member of Dyer’s Transition & Management Team.
Paulson attorney Frederic B. O’Neal, recognized as one of Florida’s leading election law attorney’s, will be seeking an injunction against Dyer and the Democrat party to prevent additional libelous attacks on Paulson and the veteran’s group.
Independent public opinion research has shown Paulson closing a fifteen point gap to within several points of Dyer as the campaign enters the final few days until Tuesday’s election.
A review of the absentee ballots that have been returned to the Supervisor of Elections office show that the Republican Party voters who are supporting Paulson by a huge margin, have a better return rate than the Democrats, who this year have seen massive defections from Dyer in his core voter constituencies.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at email@example.com