It’s not what you think. It’s another lawyer the hotel has hired to try to salvage its reputation…and stop the Fort Myers Beach town council from passing an ordinance that would create a Nuisance Abatement Board to go after nuisance businesses in the community. Meet attorney Ellyn Bogdanoff.
Attorney Bogdanoff served six years in the Florida House of Representatives and two years in the Florida Senate. She now practices law with the firm of Becker and Poliakoff and she’s been hired by the Lani Kai as a consultant to review the overall risk management of the Lani Kai property.
This week Bogdanoff told the town council that she’s requested the public records from the Sheriff and fire departments to try analyze exactly what’s going on. She told the council that the Lani Kai is an iconic property and people might say ‘I’m near the Lani Kai if an incident occurs.’ “We really want to drill down and see exactly what’s going on so we can address if from a risk management standpoint.”
Bogdanoff says she’s acting as a traffic cop to try to figure out what can be done. “I’m trying to help the Lani Kai navigate the political environment and make sure they don’t become a target of the community. I don’t believe they should be. The Lani Kai has been a very generous corporate citizen of this community. This was an aggressive action (considering the Nuisance Abatement Board) in which they were not only the catalyst but in large part the target of this.”
Bogdanoff also offered up some of her own legal advice for town council members, concerning the ordinance to institute a Nuisance Abatement Board. “We feel it could be dangerous for the town. We know we are the catalyst and from many of the comments made, the target, so we do have some concerns there as to whether or not it would be applied fairly.”
Bogdanoff also said she believed the ordinance violates Florida statute. “We have concerns that this is a reaction that needs to be put on pause. We ask for an opportunity to do our own assessment of the property. We believe if we are the catalyst and the target that you give us that courtesy. The Lani Kai has been a good corporate citizen for over 42 years on this island. We’d prefer not being the target. We believe this is pervasive and happening elsewhere.”
The Conidiaris family, owners of the hotel, sent a letter to the town council asking for a 30-day delay regarding the Nuisance Abatement Board. The letter addressed the August 3rd council meeting when several members of the community lashed out at the hotel and the crime that they believe takes place on that property on a regular basis. The letter said, “the meeting was enlightening and although we disagree with many of the harsh comments made by the public, we heard the council loud and clear.”
The newly hired Lani Kai self-proclaimed traffic cop made no mention of the July murder of 22-year old Johnny Jackson, which took place on the property. She also failed to mention that the Lani Kai has been the number one location, by far, for Sheriff and Fire Department calls on Fort Myers Beach.
On behalf of the hotel, Bogdanoff was asking the council to delay the implementation of a Nuisance Abatement Board. The council showed the Lani Kai that courtesy and agreed to a 30-day delay.