Ex-legislator’s law license suspended

by | Jun 27, 2024

The Florida Supreme Court has suspended former state Rep. Michael Grieco from practicing law for one year for violating Florida Bar rules by accepting an improper political contribution during his 2017 mayoral campaign.

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday suspended former state Rep. Michael Grieco, D-Miami Beach, from practicing law for one year in a case stemming from allegations about an improper political contribution.

The Supreme Court unanimously found that Grieco violated Florida Bar rules. It also went beyond a referee’s recommendation that Grieco receive a 90-day suspension. Grieco was charged in 2017 with violating a state law by accepting a political contribution that was made by one person in the name of another.

The allegation involved a political committee that supported a Grieco campaign for Miami Beach mayor, according to the Supreme Court ruling. Grieco pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge and was elected in 2018 to the Florida House. Among the Bar rules at issue was one that says lawyers shall not “commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects.”

Grieco argued that the political-contribution violation did not involve practicing law and, as a result, did not reflect on his fitness as an attorney, according to the Supreme Court ruling. But the justices disagreed.

“We find Grieco’s arguments unpersuasive,” the ruling said. “Knowingly accepting campaign donations from one individual, through or in the name of another (the offense to which Grieco pled no contest) is a dishonest act. We agree with the referee that the nature of Grieco’s criminal act establishes conduct that reflects adversely on his honesty and on his trustworthiness — two components of fitness as a lawyer as expressly identified (in the Bar rule).”

Grieco served in the House until 2022, when he did not seek re-election.


%d bloggers like this: