Make us your home page
Instagram

AG candidate Dan Gelber quit law firm after it agreed to represent BP

TALLAHASSEE — Democratic attorney general candidate Dan Gelber disclosed late Monday that he quit his law firm after it agreed to represent BP against oil spill disaster claims.

Gelber, a Miami Beach state senator and leading voice to ban oil drilling in Florida waters, said he resigned last week from Akerman Senterfitt, the state's largest law firm, but suggested he made his decision weeks earlier.

"I want Floridians to know I am only fighting for them," he said in an interview. "So I knew pretty quickly I would be leaving."

But Gelber didn't reveal his decision until after his Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. Dave Aronberg, called for his resignation Monday evening.

"As a candidate for attorney general, it is an inherent problem when your own law firm is on the other side of one of the most important pending lawsuits in Florida's history," Aronberg said in a prepared statement.

Gelber said he played no role in the firm's decision to represent BP and didn't know about it until days afterward. He is not a shareholder in the firm and works largely independently on an "of counsel" status, making $225,000 a year.

He initially suggested no conflict existed between his push for an offshore oil drilling ban and his firm's client, telling the Daily Business Review it was a "nonissue" in a story published June 15.

Aronberg's spokeswoman, Allison Jones, disputed that it took Gelber weeks to resign.

"If he did resign last week," she said, "it took 81,991,014 gallons, by conservative estimates, to gush into the gulf before he thought he might want to resign from the firm being paid to defend BP."

Gelber said he waited a couple of weeks to resign in order to inform clients and help transition them to new attorneys. He called Aronberg's statement a "political stunt."

"I sent in my resignation before he made this sophomoric move," he said. "Politicizing the oil spill in this way is pretty low."

AG candidate Dan Gelber quit law firm after it agreed to represent BP 06/28/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 4:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]