One is a disgrace and totally incompetent, the other is a disgrace and...
Oh I can't get them straight anymore. Let's just go to the videotape:
So let's recap -- Regalado was in charge of reviewing Fernandez's performance. He acknowledges reviewing the pay package but "didn't notice" the revisions which gave Fernandez a hefty severance irrespective of the reasons for termination. He then casts the deciding vote in favor of the Fernandez severance package giveaway.
The ex-official's generous benefits package included a provision for six months' severance upon separation from the city -- regardless of the circumstances. Commissioners allowed that contract to expire, but a recent outside legal opinion obtained by the city said the contract terms remain in effect because a new, different contract was never adopted.
Under the city charter, commissioners should have voted on a new contract for Fernandez immediately after last fall's election.
But by then, the pending investigation by prosecutors was public knowledge, and city leaders were hesitant to discuss Fernandez's future. Neither Fernandez nor the commission made an issue of the attorney working without a contract.
It's possible Fernandez could now sue for his payout. Fernandez did not return calls late Thursday.
If a protracted lawsuit ensues, legal fees alone -- even if the city wins -- could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars, Commissioner Tomás Regalado said.
''It is worth it,'' Regalado said, ``because the people of Miami cannot afford any more scandals.''
Fernandez joined the city about 3 ½ years ago, but didn't always have a severance-no-matter-what clause.
In 2006, commissioners -- with Regalado appointed to evaluate Fernandez's performance -- updated his contract and sweetened his compensation in a variety of ways, including removing language that left severance under the commission's discretion.
Regalado, while acknowledging he reviewed some parts of Fernandez's pay package back then, said in an interview Thursday that he didn't notice the severance changes during that review.
Fernandez's increased compensation wasn't approved without criticism. Then-Commissioner Linda Haskins noted its generosity and joined Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones in voting no. It passed 3-2.
The next year, when the contract expires under a cloud of investigation over charges that led ultimately to Fernandez' resignation, Regalado stands by and does nothing, allowing the contract to govern in the absence of a new written agreement.
Now he wants a lawsuit -- one it appears difficult if not impossible for the City to prevail on, given these facts -- because "it would be worth it."
Only in Miami, folks, only in Miami.