School Board Attorney Thinks Her Home Address Is “Private Information”

Hmm, I guess she doesn’t get on the intertubes all that much:

Two-and-a-half years after Miami-Dade School Board attorney JulieAnn Rico accepted $15,000 from the district to move to Miami-Dade County, she still claims a homestead exemption in Palm Beach County, public records show.

Her driver’s license and vehicle registration list the West Palm Beach address, and her land-line telephone number rings there.

School Board member Marta Pérez wants Rico to return the money.

”The contract is explicit that she is not entitled to the moving fee unless she actually moved within the first year of her employment,” Pérez wrote in an e-mail to The Miami Herald.

When reached at her West Palm Beach phone number Tuesday, Rico would not give a detailed explanation of her living arrangements. In a memo written Monday to board members, she called the allegations “incorrect and improper.”

”I am certain that a comprehensive review of the circumstances and my record of budgetary frugality will indicate that I have always been a careful steward of public funds,” she wrote.

According to her contract with the district, Rico was to receive a ”one-time moving expense allocation in an amount not to exceed $15,000” should she ”move to Miami-Dade County” within the first year of the contract.

She received a check from the district in the amount of $10,102.50 on Jan. 17, 2006, according to records obtained by The Miami Herald. The difference accounts for federal taxes.

Public records, however, suggest Rico still lives in Palm Beach County.

She owns a home there and does not own any property in Miami-Dade.

When reached by phone on the West Palm Beach land-line late Tuesday, Rico first declined comment.

”I’m not answering any questions,” she said. “Not from home.”

Later, Rico called The Miami Herald back and provided a limited explanation.

”I have moved to Miami every summer since I started,” she said. “I rent a place in Miami.”

Rico declined to give any other details, saying she is entitled to a full investigation and due process under state law.

”I should be afforded the same level of process that any other public employee would be afforded in terms of an inquiry of this nature,” she said. “I’m not going to be throwing out my addresses. That’s personal information.”

Property records are personal information nowadays? I didn’t know that. Also, she moves to Miami in the summer? Oh I get it — to escape that dreadful West Palm heat.

And who cares what her contract says so long as she follows “budgetary frugality”? That should be enough, shouldn’t it? Note her response that she won’t answer questions — “not from home.” Uhh, that’s rather the point, JuliaAnn.

Is it just me or does anyone else thinks Rico needs an attorney to be speaking on her behalf?