Trump can live in Mar-a-Lago as ‘bona fide employee’ as Palm Beach rejects vindictive requests to evict

Palm Beach town attorney John “Skip” Randolph announced on Friday that former President Donald Trump can live at Mar-a-Lago as a “bona fide employee” after receiving several requests from neighbors to evict him.

Once Trump vacated the White House, a number of Palm Beach residents attempted to have him evicted citing a 1993 agreement made between the former president and the South Florida town stating that he would limit his stays at Mar-a-Lago in exchange for labeling the residence as a private club.

In the proffered agreement, it was stipulated that no guest, including Trump, would be permitted to stay at the club for longer than “three non-consecutive seven-day periods.”

Trump relocated with his wife Melania to the club after departing Washington, DC. in January. They have been residing there since that time. He left on Sunday for his New Jersey golf club for the summer. The club typically closes after Memorial Day.

According to the Palm Beach Daily News, the attorney stated that the agreement did not specifically ban the former president from residing at the club because he is, in fact, a “bona fide employee.” He told the media outlet that, according to the town’s zoning codes, private clubs can provide living quarters for employees.

Palm Beach defines “employee” as “any person generally working onsite for the establishment and includes sole proprietors, partners, limited partners, corporate officers and the like.”

John B. Marion, who is Trump’s attorney, noted that he is responsible for the club’s financial records, overseeing the property, creating and implementing improvements to the club, and evaluating employee performance. During a Zoom call with Palm Beach officials in February, he reportedly claimed that Trump was the “mayor of the town of Mar-a-Lago.”

“This guy, he wanders the property like the mayor of the town of Mar-a-Lago,” Marion remarked regarding Trump. “He’s ever-present, and he loves it there, and he loves the people that he sees there.”

During his presidency, Trump often visited Mar-a-Lago which had been referred to as his “Winter White House.” For years before becoming president, Trump visited the club during the summer.

The ruling by Randolph comes months after a town council meeting took place where several residents claimed that the former president should not be allowed to live at Mar-a-Lago because it violated the 1993 agreement. West Palm Beach attorney Reginald Stambaugh, who represents Trump’s neighbors, attempted to convince the council last December that Trump’s living at Mar-a-Lago violated the agreement and posed a security threat as well as devalued surrounding properties.

Palm Beach Town Manager Kirk Blouin has walked those accusations back, stating that residents “did not object” to Randolph’s decision.

“There is no action for the town of Palm Beach to take at this time,” Blouin stated.

Rumors are swirling that Trump will strategize his potential 2024 run for the presidency while in New Jersey this summer.

After leaving the White House, Trump has used Mar-a-Lago as a meeting place for Republicans to get together. Senator Ted Cruz recently visited him there to discuss the 2022 midterm elections. The former president has also met with numerous other influential Republicans at the club to discuss the future of the party and support for various candidates.

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