By Selene Raj
As Tamarac moves one step closer to officially parting ways with City Attorney Sam Goren, Commissioner Marlon Bolton expressed remorse over the accusations leading to his resignation.
After 15 years of working with the city, Goren’s sudden resignation came on December 10, just one day after Commissioner Bolton accused him of being untrustworthy.
The comments came amid a tense debate about a storage facility being built in Bolton’s district as part of complying with a court-ordered settlement. At the December 9 meeting, Goren was advising the commission that the land development contract was to close imminently.
Alluding to the comments he made calling Goren untrustworthy and second-guessing his legal advice, Bolton shared his remorse.
“I think that if I go back through my time here as a commissioner, that comment is probably the one I’ll regret most because I feel that we’re losing a gem that is extremely smart and who has represented our city well.”
He thanked Goren for his service and his kindness that extended beyond the dais.
And while he didn’t always agree, Bolton said that Goren would break the information down in a way that he would understand.
The commissioner remarked that local blogs and newspapers make people out to be villains and enemies but believes Goren will be a lifelong friend.
Wishing him the best and offering to serve as a future reference, Bolton said, “I appreciate the times when you reached out on personal matters, just to make me a better official, things you did and said behind closed doors.”
“Thank you very much, commissioner,” said Goren.
After Bolton’s remarks, Vice Mayor Elvin Villalobos motioned to hire interim city attorney, Hans Ottinot, Sr.
Ottinot, the former attorney for the City of Sunny Isles Beach, was one of three candidates who had applied and were interviewed to hold the interim legal position.
The interviews were closed to the public but discussed publicly afterward, and each of the commissioners had a favorable opinion of Ottinot.
Licensed for 24 years and serving in Coral Springs, Ottinot was the closest applicant to Tamarac’s physical proximity. He is the sole attorney in his firm, but despite being part of a smaller firm, the commissioners held him in high regard based on his resume and interview.
They voted to hire him unanimously.
The other two applicants were law firms: Lewis, Longman & Walker, and Torcivia, Donlon & Goodeau. Torcivia came in a close second with Lewis, Longman & Walker following as a distant third, as many commissioners felt torn between Ottinot and Torcivia. Both were invited to apply to provide permanent legal services.
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- Selene Raj is a writer and a Florida International University graduate. Born in Trinidad and raised in America, she completed her Master's in Mass Communications in 2020, and has been living in Coral Springs since 2004. She is passionate about the communities she lives and works in and loves reporting and sharing stories that are as complex and meaningful as the people who live in them.
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