Florida condo board hires PR firm that claims to ‘fix the impossible’
1st July 2021

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The beleaguered board of the collapsed Florida condo building has reportedly hired a DC-based crisis management company that claims it can “fix the impossible.”

Days after the deadly collapse in Surfside, the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association — which faces multiple lawsuits from residents over the building’s structural flaws — retained the services of Levick Strategic Communications, the Miami Herald reported.

Maxwell Marcucci, a Levick VP who serves as spokesperson for the association, confirmed to McClatchy that the board has retained his firm, according to the Herald.

“The Champlain Towers South Condo Association board has retained LEVICK, a crisis communications firm deeply experienced in these matters, to assist them during this very difficult time,” Marcucci said.

“LEVICK has been handling the hundreds of inbound media inquiries from around the world interested in the latest breaking news on this unprecedented tragedy,” Marcucci continued.

“By taking over the important communications responsibilities to keep the media constantly informed, it has removed one burden from the volunteer association board members — who themselves are mourning the loss of their loved ones, friends and neighbors — so that they can focus on the critical work of assisting all manners of search and rescue involved in this tragedy,” he added.

Crisis management experts said it made sense for the condo board to seek outside help.

“In the realm of crisis communications, you expect to have clients who are in tough situations, wrestling with serious matters, and so it’s not surprising that a PR firm would take them on,” Evan Nierman, CEO of the South Florida-based PR firm Red Banyan, told the Herald.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, a Manhattan firm with a Miami office, told the paper that surviving members of the condo board are experiencing trauma themselves.

“Every media outlet in the world is looking for a comment. This gives you a central point of somebody who knows how to handle these calls,” Torossian told the paper. “This is a full-time job for multiple people for some time to come.”

Levick claims to have represented a wide variety of notorious clients around the world, including an order of the Catholic Church that faced sexual abuse allegations, and clients connected to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Herald reported.

Public records show that Levick also represented Citgo, a US-based subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA.

The PR firm formerly employed attorney Lanny Davis, who served as a special counsel for President Bill Clinton, and recently represented Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s erstwhile personal lawyer.

The Champlain Towers association hooked up with Levick as details first emerged of infighting among members over repeated warnings, dating back to 2018, that the building was in a dangerous state of disrepair, the Herald reported.

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