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Former Bal Harbour councilman suspended from law practice

Joel Jacobi, a former Bal Harbour councilman, is suspended from his law practice due to a finding by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.

His failure to list the rental income he earned on a co-op he owned in Bal Harbour and a house he owned in North Miami Beach violated the Florida Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct. The Bar fined him $1,475.
The Ethics Commission ruled against Jacobi in February 2009; Jacobi appealed and a county court appellate panel upheld the conviction. The finding by the Ethics Commission led to more than $3,500 in fines, a Letter of Reprimand and the suspension ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.
In addition, Lynne Bloch-Mullen, Jacobi’s opponent in the 2007 election, also filed suit, contending that Jacobi did not live in Bal Harbour in the year preceding the election, as required by the village charter.
A few days into last year’s trial, Jacobi, who served on the council since 2002, resigned citing “personal issues.”
In a phone interview Monday, Jacobi’s attorney Joseph Geller said his client agreed to settle with the Florida Bar.
“Mr. Jacobi agreed voluntarily to settle any questions about his conduct with the Florida Bar by agreeing to this brief suspension. We are confident he will be back practicing law in the near future,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that someone who served with such dis 2tinction as a public official has had such a difficult outcome for what were essentially inadvertent mistakes, but Mr. Jacobi takes full responsibility for his actions and is moving forward with his life, and awaiting the birth of his second daughter any day.”

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