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.
Nelson Bellido was appointed to the Ethics Commission by the Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit, Joel Brown, in July 2010 and currently serves as chair. Mr. Bellido is a managing partner in the Miami-based law firm, Roig, Tutan, Rossenberg, Martin, Stoller, Zumpano & Bellido, where his main areas of practice are in complex commercial litigation, insurance and finance law, product liability and domestic and international disputes regarding debtor and creditor relationships, as well as shareholder and partnership disputes. Mr. Bellido is a former adjunct professor of Business Law at Florida Memorial College, worked with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office from 1993 to 1997, was a director of the Cuban American Bar Association, past president and director of the League of Prosecutors and has been serving on the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition Inc.’s board of directors for the past eight years.
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.
Judith Bernier serves as Academic Program Director of the Center for Labor Research and Studies at Florida International University (FIU), where she has focused on issues such as workplace diversity, career mobility, gender equality, cultural competency, immigration, and performance improvement. Her professional experiences also include designing and facilitating specialized corporate and academic curricula, and writing and implementing employee relations policies and procedures. Dr. Bernier is a former adjunct professor at Miami-Dade College and worked as a human resource manager and trainer at a major retailer.
Dr. Bernier earned her Doctorate in Adult Education and Human Resource Development, Master’s in Human Resource Development, and Bachelor’s in Communication from Florida International University. She serves on the Access and Equity Committee and on the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee at Florida International University. She also serves as a peer reviewer for academic journals in her field and is involved in several professional organizations. She has served as an Ethics Commissioner since May 2014.
Marcia Narine was appointed to the Ethics Commission in May 2014 by the Dean of the St. Thomas University School of Law, where she teaches and researches civil procedure, corporate governance, compliance, social responsibility, legal ethics, human rights, and employment law. Prior to joining St. Thomas, she served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Ryder System, Inc., and was an attorney with Morgan, Lewis and Bockius' labor and employment practice in Miami. She has also worked as a commercial litigator in New York, and as a law clerk to former Justice Marie Garibaldi of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Ms. Narine is a member of Leadership Florida and has been a court-appointed guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children. She has served on the advisory committee of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms and on the advisory boards of Teach For America (Miami Region) and the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics magazine. She is also a founding board member of the Footprints Foundation, dedicated to improving infant and maternal health and education in the Congo. Professor Narine earned her law degree from Harvard and her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.
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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