Collapsed Miami condo's board hires crisis management firm that claims it can ...

Collapsed Miami condo's board hires crisis management firm that claims it can ...
Collapsed Miami condo's board hires  crisis management firm that claims it can ...

A crisis management firm that boasts it can 'fix the impossible' has been hired by the board of a collapsed Miami condo building as questions mount over the disaster and its death toll hit 16.   

Levick, which is based in Washington DC, has been appointed to handle the flurry of media requests sent to the Champlain Towers South Condo Association over last Thursday's collapse. The firm's vice president Maxwell Marucci has been assigned to deal with the disaster.

He told the Miami 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.

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

'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.' 

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The death toll from the disaster hit 18 on Wednesday, with 145 people still missing. Three class-action lawsuits have been filed so far, with more almost certain to follow. 

Speaking in the wake of those suits, Marucci said: 'The board is not comprised of engineers or building experts,' Marcucci told Insider. 'They hired experts and they trusted experts, and at no time did the experts ever indicate that there was any imminent threat.'

Levick, a Washington, D.C.-based firm run by CEO Richard Levick, has previously represented clients connected to crises like an unnamed Catholic Church order's sexual abuse allegations, the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the 2000 Florida election recount. 

Marucci also told the Herald that the board was made up entirely of volunteers who were also unit owners - one of whom is now among the 147 missing residents.

The board of the collapsed Miami condo building hired a crisis management firm, named Levick, which boasts it can 'fix the impossible'

The board of the collapsed Miami condo building hired a crisis management firm, named Levick, which boasts it can 'fix the impossible'

The Washington, D.C., firm has previously represented clients involved in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and 2000 Florida election recount

The Washington, D.C., firm has previously represented clients involved in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and 2000 Florida election recount

Maxwell Marcucci, a vice president at Levick, has been assigned to the case and will be acting as a spokesperson for the condo association

Maxwell Marcucci, a vice president at Levick, has been assigned to the case and will be acting as a spokesperson for the condo association

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Levick formerly employed renowned Washington lawyer and spinmeister Lanny Davis, who recently represented President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen and was a special counsel for President Bill Clinton.

A previous major client included China Telecom, which paid the firm more than $230,000 for work in 2019 and 2020. Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman accused of stealing more than $4 billion from the Malaysian development fund in the 1MDB scandal, paid the firm more than $50,000.

Another client was Citgo, a U.S.-based subsidiary of Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA, which paid Levick more than $1 million for work in 2019 in seeking to counteract the negative image emanating from the Hugo Chavez and the Nicolás Maduro regimes.

Lawsuits filed against the board allege that they sat on evidence of the condo's damages and could have prevented its collapse. In October 2018 Frank Morabito, an engineer, warned the board and chief building official, Rosendo Prieto, of 'major structural damage' in the Champlain Towers South building he said would cost around $9 million to repair. Morabito had

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