Tuesday, June 29, 2010

South Florida Business Journal:Gelber quits Akerman Senterfitt over spill

Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 2:03pm EDT

State Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, has quit his job with Akerman Senterfitt over the firm's decision to defend BP PLC against oil spill claims.

Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach

Gelber, who is running for Florida attorney general, apparently disclosed his resignation in an interview on Monday. He claims that he told Robert Zinn, the firm’s president, that he resigned on Thursday, June 24.

A few days later, his opponent in the statewide primary, Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, publicly called for Gelber’s resignation from the firm because of the BP connection.

Gelber’s response was to tell the St. Petersburg Times he already had resigned.

In a letter to constituents, Gelber described his resignation and criticized Aronberg.

“I resigned from my law firm upon learning after the fact that they had signed up to represent BP in court," he wrote. "Although lawyers do not assume the virtues or defects of their clients, I have been the leading and harshest critic of BP and of offshore oil drilling for many years, and believed if I am to run for attorney general, I should not have any association with the company.'

Gelber claims he had resisted advice that he announce the resignation with a press conference, only to face Aronberg’s attack.

“Unfortunately, last night, my opponent in the primary, in what could only be considered a rank political stunt, decided to politicize the tragic oil spill, calling on me to resign, even after I had already done so,” Gelber wrote in the letter.

Categories: Insurance, Legal Services

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