The Florida Bar has filed a complaint against criminal attorney and state legislator Michael Grieco, who gained notoriety in May for his brash defense of Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar against armed robbery charges — only to be himself caught on video bribing witnesses.
The document, filed by the state bar association on July 30, paints a picture of corruption during Grieco’s unsuccessful 2017 bid for mayor of Miami Beach. No direct mention is made of Grieco’s alleged tampering in the ongoing felony case against Dunbar and his alleged accomplice, Giants corner DeAndre Baker, but the timing appears conspicuous, with Grieco’s apparent payoff scheme coming to light weeks ago in a New York Daily News report.
“What Bar complaint?” Grieco asked Monday when reached by Deadspin. He refused to comment further.
Grieco — a Democrat serving Miami Beach in Florida’s House of Representatives since 2018 — was a city commissioner in 2017 when he launched his mayoral run, at which time he lied to election officials and reporters about a controversial $200,000 campaign war chest and blasted allegations to the contrary as “fake news and alternative facts.”
“You can look right into my soul,” Grieco beseeched one reporter at the time, denying any links between himself and the slush fund’s source: a political action committee bankrolled by local developers.
Grieco’s ruse was exposed after investigators learned that an employee at his law firm had been designated the PAC’s treasurer. State officials found that Grieco “had been involved with every aspect of creating, operating, and funding” the committee, according to the Florida Bar complaint. He resigned as Miami Beach city commissioner soon thereafter.
The fallout was not enough, however, to thwart Grieco’s 2018 campaign for Florida state legislature, and in addition to his criminal defense practice, he currently serves as a representative of Miami Beach’s 113th District.
But Grieco’s tenuous relationship with the truth continued well beyond his 2017 campaign misdeeds.
After Dunbar and Baker made national headlines in May for an alleged $70,000 gunpoint heist, Grieco — representing Dunbar — claimed that the victims in that case had each chosen to change their story for no particular reason.
“They just walked into my office” to recant, Grieco told Deadspin in May of the men who had, hours earlier, told police in videotaped testimony that Dunbar and Baker robbed them. Investigators soon found that the witnesses had been paid off to sign a statement absolving the defensive backs, with the cash changing hands, on video, at Grieco’s office.
Dunbar has since dropped Grieco from his defense team as well as another attorney, Michael Weinstein, who is currently running for a seat in Florida’s House of Representatives.