Regional Counsel Ita M. Neymotin, Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Second District Court of Appeal is proud to announce that an unprecedented partnership has been agreed upon and signed between the City of Gomel, in the Eastern European country of Belarus, and the City of Fort Myers. This historic sister city agreement, signed on Wednesday, June 15 encourages reciprocal business opportunities between Fort Myers and Gomel.
The Honorable Mayor Randall P. Henderson, Jr., Fort Myers, and Lee County Board of County Commissioners Chair Frank Mann, along with Ms. Neymotin, hosted the Sister City event. Ms. Neymotin was chosen by Mayor Henderson and the Belarus Delegation to be the intermediary for the creation of the sister city agreement. Having escaped the oppression of the Soviet Regime as a child, Ms. Neymotin has always appreciated the superiority of our justice system and would like to see more countries embrace sister city agreements.
In attendance from Belarus were Boleslav Pirshtuk, the Deputy Chairman of the Regional Executive Committee of Gomel, Oleg Kravchenko, Director of Americas Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pavel Shidlovsky, Charge d’Affaires, a.i. (Chief of Mission) of the Embassy of Belarus, as well as seven other Belarus Dignitaries at Oscar M. Corbin, Jr. City Hall.
Honored speakers at the event were Regional Counsel Ita M. Neymotin, Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Second District Court of Appeal, The Honorable Mayor Randall P. Henderson, Jr., Former Ambassador of The Holy See Francis Rooney, Lee County Board of County Commissioners Chair Frank Mann, Deputy Chairman of the Regional Executive Committee of Gomel, Boleslav Pirshtuk, The Honorable Florida Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto and Pavel Shidlovsky, Charge d’Affaires, a.i. (Chief of Mission) of the Embassy of Belarus. This event was attended by an estimated 50 dignitaries and public officials from Florida.
Former Ambassador of the Holy See, Francis Rooney began the event with a prayer for the victims and their families of the Orlando attack. He spoke about the strategic role of commerce in relation to Belarus. The Former Ambassador further emphasized that opportunities for trade between Fort Myers and Belarus will inevitably lead to future benefits. The Former Ambassador thanked Belarus for allowing a United States aircraft to re-fuel on Belarus soil on its way to Afghanistan.
Many others in attendance also expressed their sympathies toward the tragic events in Orlando, including: Senator Benacquisto, Commissioner Mann, Belarusian Charge d’Affaires Shidlovsky, and Ms. Neymotin.
Mayor Henderson, who also spoke at the event, said, “The symbolic significance of this meeting was never more important than it is today, while we’re experiencing global challenges with the recent events in Orlando.” He added, “Those kinds of activities are not going to stop us from reaching out, and creating a sense of love and camaraderie around the globe.”
A special thanks to Mayor Randall P. Henderson, Jr., Lee County Commissioner Chair Frank Mann, and Regional Counsel Ita M. Neymotin for implementing the historic partnership of Fort Myers and Gomel. They look forward to building global friendships and increasing international trade and commerce.
Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel
Second District Court of Appeal, Florida
Ita Neymotin, Regional Counsel was appointed by Governor Rick Scott in 2011 and reappointed March 15, 2016 to lead The Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Second District Court of Appeal (OCCCRC2). It is one of five regional counsel offices created by the legislature in 2007 to provide legal representation to indigent persons in criminal cases in which the court grants the Public Defender’s motion to withdraw and appoints the OCCCRC2, in dependency and civil cases, and certain statutorily authorized civil commitment proceedings. OCCCRC2 also handles appeals and post-conviction motions. As noted under Statute 27.511, the Florida Legislature states “it is the intent of the Legislature to provide adequate representation in a fiscally sound manner, while safeguarding constitutional principles.” Regional Counsel saves millions of taxpayer dollars every year while providing quality representation to its clients. For more information visit www.flrc2.org.