Wednesday, June 30, 2010

St. Petersburg blog: Dan Gelber says he quit law firm “last Thursday” so why is resignation letter effective in “early July?”

I guess at some point every Democrat is going to have to make a decision about who to support for Attorney General. Dave Aronberg or Dan Gelber? ’Cause you can’t vote for both, as much as we’d all like to.

I haven’t fully made up my mind yet. I want to hear what Gelber has to say tomorrow night at Bella Brava. But in the meantime, what troubles me — and many other Democrats — is the controversy over Gelber’s resignation from his law firm, which BP hired to represent it in any claims issues stemming from the oil spill.

The latest development in this, sorry to say, continuing controversy is the timing of Gelber’s resignation.

Last night, Gelber told Creative Loafing‘s Mitch Perry:

“There’s no question about it, I quit last Thursday. It’s almost an absurd debate.”

Gelber said he heard in early June that Akerman Senterfitt was “jockeying” with BP on representing them, and then learned in early June that the firm had picked up that business. But he said after working with the firm for 25 years, there was no way he could quit overnight, and so he spent a few weeks preparing clients that he would have to leave, which he did last Thursday. “You don’t let clients know you’re leaving through the newspaper,” he said.

However, if you take a look at the actual resignation letter Gelber wrote, posted on the Palm Beach Post’s website, Gelber’s resignation isn’t effective until “early July.” Gelber writes:

Thanks for the opportunity to work with the lawyers of Akerman Senterfitt. As we discussed, I am resigning my “of counsel” affiliation in early July to give me time to adequately assure client transition issues and administrative matters are addressed.

This all seems like splitting hairs, but its Gelber, not Aronberg, who is trying to make an issue of when he actually resigned. The question still remains if Gelber resigned before or after Aronberg called for his resignation.

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