MIAMI – The Miami-Dade School Board on Wednesday selected Harvard-educated lawyer Walter Harvey as the school board attorney .
Board members chose Harvey, 44, of Miami Shores, by a vote of five to zero after three supporters of Harvey’s opponent, Robert Tischenkel, left the dais before the vote was cast.
After board Chairman Solomon Stinson proffered three finalists for nomination, board member Ana Rivas Logan nominated Harvey, who was the sole candidate nominated for the vote.
Board members voting for Harvey were Logan, Wilbert “Tee” Holloway, Stinson, Martin Karp and Renier Diaz de la Portilla.
Board members Marta Perez, Perla Tabares Hantman and Agustin J. Barrera, who voted for Tischenkel on May 20, did not cast votes at Wednesday’s meeting. They left the dais before the vote.
Board member Lawrence Feldman, who had also voted for Tischenkel on May 20, did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.
Before the vote, Hantman protested the fact that the vote was proceeding without the presence of Feldman. But a school board attorney on the dais said only a vote of five board members was needed.
Diaz de la Portilla did not vote on May 20. Harvey is a shareholder at GrayRobinson, where Diaz de la Portilla was working as of May 20.
But after Diaz de la Portilla quit his job and received an official opinion from the Florida Commission on Ethics that his vote on the selection of the school board attorney did not constitute a conflict of interest, Diaz de la Portilla voted in favor of Harvey.
With Diaz de la Portilla free to vote, the deadlock between Tischenkel and Harvey appeared to be resolved. Prior to the vote to hire Harvey, Diaz de la Portilla made a motion to rescind the May 20 board decision to begin a new search to fill the attorney’s position. A majority of board members approved the motion.
Pictured above is Walter Harvey.