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Ethics Commission Board Members

The Ethics Commission was created in 1996 as a result of a citizens' vote to amend the Home Rule charter. It is an independent agency with advisory and quasi-judicial powers.  It is composed of five members, each serving staggered terms of four years at a time.

  • The Chief Judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit has two appointments with the following qualifications: Former Federal Judge, or former U.S. Magistrate, or former State Court Judge; and
    Former U.S. Attorney or Assistant U.S. Attorney, former State or Assistant State Attorney, former County or Assistant County Attorney, or former City or Assistant City Attorney.
  • The Deans of the University of Miami School of Law and St. Thomas University School of Law have one shared appointment of a faculty member who has taught a course in professional legal ethics or who has published or performed services in the field of professional legal ethics.
  • The Miami-Dade League of Cities has one appointment of a member who has held local elective office.
  • The Director of the Florida International University Center for Labor Research & Studies makes one appointment.

Each member must be a resident of Miami-Dade County. While serving on the Commission, a member cannot hold or campaign for an elective office or hold office in any political party or political committee.

The Ethics Commission is empowered to appoint the Executive Director, who must be a member of the Florida Bar. Robert Meyers was named Executive Director in 1998. Joseph Centorino has served in that capacity since 2011.

 Ethics Commission board members

Dawn Addy

Dawn E. Addy, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Center for Labor Research and Studies at Florida International University (FIU). Professor Addy's academic efforts have focused primarily on issues of workplace diversity and community building. She has designed specialized training programs, curricula, and other materials in numerous areas, including harassment, cultural diversity, workplace violence, conflict resolution, effective communication skills, problem solving, leadership skills, electronic publishing skills, labor law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, HIV-AIDS, stress and self-image, bridging the gender gap, workplace literacy, and adult education techniques. She served on the Equal Opportunity Board for Miami-Dade County for five years prior to her appointment on the Ethics Commission in the fall of 2001.

Prior to her work at FIU, Dr. Addy was on the faculty of the Labor Education Service of the Industrial Relations Center at the University of Minnesota. She completed her graduate work at the University of Minnesota, earning a Master's degree in Industrial Relations and a Ph.D. in work, Community, and Family Education. She is currently president of the group "Many Voices: One Community," which facilitates dialogue on issues of racism and immigration throughout southern Florida. Dr. Addy also serves on the Access and Equity Committee for FIU as Diversity Committee Chair.

Nelson Bellido, Chairman

Nelson Bellido was appointed to the Ethics Commission by the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit, Joel Brown, in July 2010.  Mr. Bellido is a partner in the Coral Gables-based law firm, Concepcion Martinez & Bellido, P.A., where his main areas of practice are in business and complex commercial litigation, insurance law and products liability. He is admitted to practice law in Florida state courts and in the Federal Southern and Middle Judicial District of Florida and holds the highest rating assigned by Martindale Hubbell.  Mr. Bellido is a former adjunct professor of Business Law at Florida Memorial College, served with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 1997 and is involved in several professional and community organizations. 

Mr. Bellido received his juris doctor in from the University of Florida College of Law and earned an undergraduate degree of Political Science and History with emphasis on Latin American History from Duke University. 

Charlton Copeland

Charlton Copeland was appointed to the Ethics Commission by the Dean of the University of Miami School of Law in May 2010. Copeland, who joined the UM faculty as an associate professor in 2007, earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Amherst College, a Master of Arts in Religion from Yale Divinity School and a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School.  He has clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit as well as in the Constitutional Court of South Africa. 

Professor Copeland worked as an associate with an international law firm based in Washington, D.C., before serving as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University.  His research interests and publications have focused on administrative law, federal courts and federalism, comparative constitutional law, and race and the law.

Kerry E. Rosenthal

Kerry Rosenthal was appointed by the Miami-Dade League of Cities in 1998. Mr. Rosenthal is a Miami attorney and partner with the law firm of Rosenthal, Rosenthal, Rasco. His primary areas of practice include real estate and development, business transactions, and corporations.

Having served several years as Chair of the Ethics Commission, Mr. Rosenthal also participates on the Real Estate Certification Committee of the Florida Bar and acts as pro-bono legal counsel for Stop Hunger, Inc. He is former Director and President of the North Date Bar Association and former Vice-Mayor and Councilman of the town of Golden Beach. He is active in several bar associations and charitable organizations.

Judge Lawrence A. Schwartz, Vice-Chair

Judge Lawrence A. Schwartz was appointed to serve on the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust by Chief Circuit Court Judge Joel Brown in January 2013, shortly after his retirement from the bench. Judge Schwartz sat on the Circuit Court since his appointment by then-Governor Lawton Chiles in 1997. The Northeast Miami-Dade resident won election to County Court in 1991 and served in all divisions until his elevation.

Schwartz received an Associate Degree from what was then known as Dade County Junior College, a Bachelor's Degree in Psycology and Sociology from the University of Oklahoma and a Master's Degree in Education from Florida Atlantic University. Schwartz taught sixth grade for five years at Lake Stevens Elementary in Carol City. After earning his Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Schwartz was a deputy district attorney in Sacramento, California, for a dozen years. The Miami Beach native returned home in 1987 to work as an Assistant State Attorney in the 11th Judicial Circuit prosecuting economic crimes.

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