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Hardemon named vice-chair of Miami City Commission

Miami Times staff report | 1/9/2014, 9 a.m.

Within three months of re-election, Mayor Tomas Regalado appointed two positions in Miami’s City Commission. On Dec. 31, 2013 Regalado appointed Commissioner Wifredo "Willy" Gort as the board's chairman succeeding Marc Sarnoff. For vice-chairman, Regalado selected Keon

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Keon Hardemon, Commissioner District 5

Hardemon, the new commissioner of district 5 who was sworn into office on Nov. 27, 2013. The chair and vice-chair serve one-year terms. Gort, who is generally seen as a Regalado ally, was in line for the chairmanship after being number two under Sarnoff. Selecting Hardemon was seen as a strategic move by many. Hardemon, an Assistant Public Defender for the City of Miami, has represented hundreds of clients regarding misdemeanor crimes and felony crimes by youth and indigent adults.

"Naming Keon vice-chair sends an important message to his district that the administration is willing to work with him," Regalado said. "I think we are going to have a great relationship."

The mayor readily admits he had "no relationship" last year with the commissioner's predecessor, Michelle Spence-Jones, who filed a racketeering-conspiracy suit accusing Regalado and other City officials of conspiring against her. A federal judge dismissed the complaint last month referring to the allegations as “full of political intrigue.”