“Upon advice of counsel I have a legal right to get my job back but the thought of spending perhaps three more years next to the Queen of Mean is detrimental to my health and welfare,” Feingold said.
The “Queen of Mean” is in reference to the infamous Leona Helmsley, legendary for mistreating staff. It is also Feingold’s new nickname for Vice Mayor Valerie Newman. Both the attorney and some of the commission board believe his ousting was the maneuvering of Newman alone. He said, “This lady was my dear friend and she turned on me.”
Vice Mayor Newman allegedly had Feingold believe that Commissioner Velma Palmer would vote against him if he did not step down willingly. Palmer actually spoke up in defense of the attorney during the March 1st commission meeting at which he resigned, wondering where the Vice Mayor got the power to single-handedly make personnel decisions. Palmer called Newman’s move “hateful,” “vindictive,” “spiteful” and “destructive.”
When asked why Newman wanted him out, Feingold said “She tells me I spend too much time with the Mayor. She doesn’t like the way I rule. She tells others I’m too political. She’s told different people different things.”
Feingold says he took an oath to never plead a false case, so he cannot interpret the law always to Newman’s liking. He noted a comment made online under the Miami Herald article, saying that it is “unreal to hear that a retail clerk is telling an attorney with nearly 50 years of law experience what to do with any type of contract.” Feingold has been a member of the American Bar Association since 1962 and previously served as the City of Miami Beach’s city attorney for six years.
“I will honor my resignation unless the city needs me for a short time thereafter while finding my replacement,” concludes Feingold.