DECEMBER 12 - DECEMBER 16

RETURN TO FRONT PAGEWEBSITE.html
MR ETHICS, MEET THE ETHICS COMMISSION
I FILE A COMPLAINT OVER THE DDA ABSENTEE BALLOT CAMPAIGN

It looks like the Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign by the DDA is turning out to be a gift that keeps on giving.


Within days of my original story Michelle Niemeyer, one of Sarnoff’s opponents, filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission and the FDLE.  Then Kate Callahan joined in by writing State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle wanting to know if she was going to charge anybody for allegedly violating several Florida statutes, and then the DDA, trying to get out from under, voted to ask the Florida the City Attorney’s office to ask the Attorney General to issue an opinion that would protect them from my request to  give me copies of the postcards that I have alleged they shouldn’t have copied to begin with, and now, just to clarify the issues I have filed my own ethics complaint against Commissioner Sarnoff, his staff member William Plasencia, DDA Assistant Executive Director Javier Betancourt and then CRA Communications Director David Karsh.


In part, I filed this complaint because the Ethics Commission is preparing to dismiss Niemeyer’s complaint.  I predicted this in my last post, and what I’ve learned from my observations of the Ethics Commission is that they don’t “investigate” anything. 


Consequently, while Niemeyer’s complaint could have served as the basis for an investigation that might have led to a determination that the provisions of Florida Statute 106.15(3), were violated, it would have required real work on the part of Manny Diaz, the investigator assigned to the case.


Diaz, like so many others on the public dole is lazy, and not overly prone to so much as lift a sheet of paper that might lead to information he’d be forced to follow up on.


What Niemeyer’s complaint alluded to, and what my complaint addresses in specificity is the charge that, as the statute spells out:


   “A candidate may not, in the furtherance of his or    

    her candidacy for nomination or election to public

    office in any election, use the services of any state,

    county, municipal, or district officer or employee

    during working hours.”


None of this necessarily means that the Ethics Commission will treat my complaint differently than Niemeyer’s, but unlike other folks, when you really piss me off, I start collecting bigger and bigger rocks to throw at you, and all of these folks have really pissed me off.  So, while this is a big rock, I’m rolling a boulder over to my little launching pad as I wait to see what happens with this rock.


Below is a copy of my complaint. The actual complaint starts on page 5.

A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE
COPYRIGHT 2011(C)
THIS STORY CAN BE REPRINTED AND CITED BY OTHER 
NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ONLY WITH ATTRIBUTION TO 
THE CRESPO-GRAM REPORT
STUPID POLITICIAN TRICKS
OUTSTANDING PUBLIC RECORDS LOG

DEPARTMENT  REQUESTS    DAYS OUTSTANDING

MAYOR                       1                                 63

SARNOFF                   1                                 13

POLICE                       1                               455

We’re going to start keeping a running tally of our outstanding public records requests so that folks can begin to understand that the City of Miami is a chronic violator when it comes to complying with these requests.

DDA                             1                                 60

COMMUNICATIONS   1                                 12

DECEMBER 12, 2011

TO EXPLAIN MY COMPLAINT AGAINST CARMEN CABARGA
THE BAR ASKS ME
A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE
COPYRIGHT 2011(C)
THIS STORY CAN BE REPRINTED AND CITED BY OTHER 
NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ONLY WITH ATTRIBUTION TO 
THE CRESPO-GRAM REPORT

One of comedian WC Field’s best lines was, “I believe a man’s got to believe in something.  I believe I’ll have another drink.”


Well, I also believe that a man’s got to believe in something, and I believe in Florida’s Public Record’s Law.


For me, there is no more important law in the State of Florida. I believe that this law is the only thing that keeps the citizens of this state from being completely overrun by the corrupt, unethical, unprincipled and often downright crooked politicians who abuse their trust and the public’s money at almost every opportunity they think they can get away with.


Without a strong public records law, news media and folks like me could never uncover the documents that lay bare the chicanery and abuses that politicians engage in.


My ethics complaint story above was based on my ability to get documents from the DDA and others, and the fact that the DDA Board of Directors would go to the extraordinary lengths that they have in an effort to get the Florida Attorney General to issue a legal opinion that would allow them to keep the copies of the Absentee Ballots from my hands tells you that something’s amiss at the DDA.


So, when the Florida Bar wrote me last week to ask me to provide them with more detailed information on my allegation that Ms. Cabarga had lied to me, and in the process violated Florida’s Public Records law, I was not only happy to respond, but I also decided to detail with some specificity one of the ways that the City of Miami has decided to deal with me and my public records requests.


Many people, when they offer me story ideas often tell me that all I have to do is file a public records request and I’ll get all the documents that I’ll need to substantiate their story.


If only that were true.


Unfortunately, as folks in the city - especially the Mayor, Commissioner Sarnoff, Luis Cabrera, Ada Rojas and the idiot Angel Zayon among others - have come to realize how dangerous it is to give me documents that I then turn around and use to make them look like fools or worse, they have started employing various schemes to block my efforts, and make it as difficult as possible to get documents.


That’s why I sued Acting Chief of Police Orosa last Monday. I had made 3 separate requests for documents over a 50+ day period, and he had ignored them all.


Below is a copy of my response to the Florida Bar.


Back in the day, when the Miami Herald was really a newspaper, they never would have put up with this flagrant abuse of the law, because I’ve been told that their reporters are also being subjected to this nonsense.


But, you won’t see the Herald telling the city this abuse of the law is unacceptable. 


So here is the reason why I think Carmen Cabarga deserved to be the first recipient of STUPID LAWYER TRICKS, and why I think she deserves to be reprimanded. by the Florida Bar.

STUPID LAWYER TRICKS

December 11, 2011



Ms. Anne-Marie Martinez, Bar Counsel

FLORIDA BAR ASSOCIATION

651 East Jefferson Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300


Re: Carmen Beatriz Cabarga: RFA No. 12-9405


Dear Ms. Martinez:


This is in response to your request for more information regarding the complaint that I filed against Ms. Carmen Cabarga.


You ask how does Ms. Cabarga’s refusal to respond to my request for emails generated by an employee of her agency, and in the custody of her agency, not constitute a violation of Florida Statute 119, when she referred me to the IT Department of the City of Miami.


Here is my response.


WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AGENCY’S RECORDS


The Miami CRA is an independent community redevelopment agency in the City of Miami that has it’s own Board of Directors, Executive Director and staff. It is funded through tax money generated within it’s borders and does not receive money from the city’s general Fund.


Therefore, it is solely responsible for complying with the provisions of Florida Statute 119, specifically when it comes to allowing citizens to review and/or seek copies of it’s records.


     “FS 119.07(1)(a) Every person who has custody of

     a Publi Record shall permit the record to be inspected

     and copied by any person desiring to do so, at any

     reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, and

     under supervision by the Custodian of the public

     records.”


This portion of the statute means that when I contacted Ms. Cabarga’s employer, Mr. Pieter Bockweg, and requested copies of correspondence between members of his agency and the members of another public agency, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the CRA had a legal responsibility to provide me with whatever copies of all the public records – that includes emails – they had in their possession.


Ms. Cabarga denied that they had any documents in their possession – which by definition included emails – yet referred me to the City’s IT Department to obtain copies of emails.


This is why in my original complaint I included a portion from the Florida Sunshine manual that addressed the question as to whether an agency could deny access to public records by claiming that they were not in the physical possession of the agency.


5. May an agency refuse to comply with a request to inspect or copy the agency's public records on the grounds that the records are not in the physical possession of the custodian?

No. An agency is not authorized to refuse to allow

inspection of public records it made or received in

connection with the transaction of official business

on the grounds that the documents are in the

actual possession of an agency or official other

than the records custodian. See Wallace v.

Guzman, 687 So. 2d 1351 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997)

(public records cannot be hidden from the public

by transferring physical custody of the records to

the agency's attorneys); Tober v. Sanchez, 417 So.

2d 1053 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982), review denied sub

nom., Metropolitan Dade County Transit Agency v.

Sanchez, 426 So. 2d 27 (Fla. 1983) (official

charged with maintenance of records may not

transfer actual physical custody of records to

county attorney and thereby avoid compliance

with request for inspection under Ch. 119, F.S.);

and AGO 92-78 (public housing authority not

authorized to withhold its records from disclosure

on the grounds that the records have been

subpoenaed by the state attorney and transferred

to that office).


In this case, Ms. Cabarga cannot claim that they were not in the physical possession of her agency. The emails that I included as evidence with my original complaint  - although obtained elsewhere - were, and are in the physical control of Ms. Cabarga’s agency.


The CRA is a stand-alone independent agency. Their documents are housed within the 4 walls of their agency. And even if they weren’t, as the case law above states, after I made my request, it was their responsibility to obtain the copies that I asked for.


THE CRESPO POLICIES


I would suspect that by now you’ve determined that I am more than a curious citizen seeking copies of a few documents from the CRA.


I am a writer who in the last 2 years has created a website devoted to uncovering corruption and malfeasance within the government of the City of Miami and it’s assorted agencies such as the CRA. (www.crespogram.com)


More than most folks who undertake these kinds of activities, I have been very successful.  In August of this year I uncovered a questionable scheme by the CRA to give away 6 downtown city blocks to a developer and golfing pal of Ms. Cabarga’s boss, Mr. Bockweg. 


The meeting at which this action was to be consummated was cancelled, and 2 of those city blocks that were supposed to go to Mr. Bockweg’s pal were recently designated to a developer who had been the successful RFP bidder before this scheme was hatched.


I have had a number of these kinds of successes, and they have in large part been the result of being able to access public records.


Understandably, the Mayor, members of the City Commission – which also sit as the board members of the CRA – and the leadership of other agencies in the City who have been the focus of my attention are not happy about my ability to uncover corruption via public records.


Among those most unhappy is Mr. Bockweg, who as part of my first story about the deal with his golfing pal was unhappy when I revealed that he had flown to New York on public money to assure his pal’s bankers that the deal for the 6 city blocks was a done deal, even before any information was revealed to the public.


Across the city, I have understandably become persona non grata, and things became so heated that in September I was for a time barred from access to the city’s Administrative building. 


When that effort failed - I showed up with 2 TV crews and a reporter from the El Nuevo Herald - the city instituted a new series of Administrative Policies referred to now by city employees as The Crespo Policies.


USING THE IT DEPARTMENT TO CREATE SPECIAL SERVICE CHARGES


One of the decisions that was made after I showed up with the TV reporters, was that a new requirement was imposed that whenever possible, email requests would be routed through the City’s IT Department, so that the city could charge a “Special Service” fee as a way to frustrate individuals like me from making requests because of the accumulated charges associated with seeking documents, and it was that policy that Ms. Cabarga was obviously following when she told me to go to the city’s IT Department if I wanted copies of the CRA’s emails.


The process also required that the requests they go through the Communication’s Department where they would be screened to determine the what/why/where /how of the information contained in the emails, and also to immediately set up a Special Service charge of $70.00 to be imposed before a request is processed.  There were exceptions, but for the most part they deal with request to Departments like the City Clerk and City Attorney’s offices, that operate independently.


This imposition of a “Special Service” charge as an almost permanent part of any public records request – no matter how many pages of documents are involved - is a flagrant abuse of this provision, and is not supported by case law.


In process for all of this flowed out of an APM4-11 issued by Miami City Manager Johnny Martinez, that includes this directive: (Exhibit A).


“Each City department shall designate a Public

Records Liaison to coordinate the retrieval and

review of public records related to that department. 

Any employee receiving a Public Records Request

is required to acknowledge receipt of said request,

and complete the Records Request Form, and

immediately forward it to the department's Public

Records Liaison, who shall then notify the Office of

Communications, by email, that the request was

received. If the requesting party wishes to remain

anonymous, the employee will complete the

Records Request Form by stating the following:

"unknown.” It is not mandatory that the public

records request be in writing, but the City

employee receiving the request shall fill out the

form to assist in making sure that both the

employee and the requesting party understand

the request.”


The requirement described in this APM also violates the provisions of the law, because by acknowledging that each city department has a Public Records Liaison, creating the additional step of having these individuals notify the Communications Department and making the Communications Department the conduit for compliance violates the decision reached by the Florida Supreme Court in Tribune Company v. Cannella, 458 So. 2d 1075, 1078 (Fla. 1984), appeal dismissed sub nom., DePerte v. Tribune Company, 105 S.Ct. 2315 (1985), where the Court ruled that the only delay permissible, "is the limited reasonable time allowed the custodian to retrieve the record and delete those portions of the record the custodian asserts are exempt."


Inserting the Communications Department adds an additional step in the “reasonable time” provisions of “Tribune Company v. Cannella”.


To appreciate how the process now works in the City of Miami, I am including a series of emails I made to Ms. Lynn Westall, the City Manager’s Assistant, who is also his record’s custodian.


My request, based on information I had been provided by my source, was for about a half-dozen letters.


You will see that instead of receiving a reply from Ms. Westall, I got a response from Mr. Frank Novel, of the Office of Communications acknowledging my request, and notifying me that the cost to comply with the request would be be $70.00. (Exhibit B includes the entire string of emails in sequential order).


When I asked for a breakdown for that cost, you will see that I initially got a gobbly-gook response, followed, after I requested an explanation of the costs, by a breakdown of what they claimed was involved in retrieving this handful of letters.


Mind you, the city operates with Microsoft Outlook, and the Ms. Westall, the Assistant to the City Manager, could have, by typing into “Find” the name of the individual who I identified in my original request have found the emails I requested faster than it took me to type this.  Yet, I was expected to pay $70.00 for this same service.


This is just one example of how public officials in Miami are playing fast and loose when it comes to complying with Florida’s Public Records Law.


WHY MS. CABARGA’S MERITS A REPRIMAND


This is the situation that I encountered with Ms. Cabarga when I asked for copies of the emails that led to my original letter to you. Instead of providing me the documents that I requested, she on one hand denied that documents existed, and on the other hand directed me to go and get them from the IT Department.


I am, as you can imagine the source of much discussion and strategizing within city government because of my activities, and the strategy that I described above is one that has been the topic of numerous conversations by various elected officials and administrators. To their credit, not everyone agrees to this nonsense, but Ms. Cabarga, being a loyal employee, and being advised to  thwart my efforts at every turn – or as it was described to me by someone privy to the instructions given to her in dealing with me - “She got bad advise” - unfortunately thought she could get away with “directing me to the City of Miami’s IT Department.”


THE CITY MANAGER DOESN’T CONTROL THE CRA


In addition to the problems associated with violating the provisions of Chapter 119, Ms. Cabarga, in following the advice to stiff me and send me on to the city’s IT Department, also failed to understand that in both practical and legal terms the City Manager’s APM only applies to the city’s departments and individuals over which he has direct control.


The Miami CRA IS NOT a department of the City of Miami, even though it’s computers, like those of several other independent agencies are backed-up on the city’s mainframe computers for security. 


It is, as I stated at the beginning of this letter, an independent agency with it’s own Board of Directors, Executive Director and staff, and therefore It is solely responsible for complying with the public records requests that are made to it.


Consider for argument’s sake this analogy: Lets substitute the Florida Bar Association for the CRA, and the American Bar Association for the City of Miami.


I write to you and ask you for documents created by one of the employees of the Florida Bar.  You tell me that you have no documents subject to my request, and then inform me that if I want copies of the emails that you claim do not exist, I need to go to the IT Department of the American Bar Association and get them there because the American Bar Association backs up your computers.


Now, you know that’s not something you could or would ever do, because you, while affiliated with the American Bar Association are an independent entity and responsible for the documents that you and your co-workers generate.


Florida law says that if you are a public agency subject to the public records law, you can’t do that either.  If the documents were generated in your offices, then you are responsible for them, and when someone comes and asks for them, you can’t tell them to go somewhere else in order to obtain a copy.


Even if the agency were to do away with hard drives, and started operating by using the city’s mainframe as a “cloud” where all of it’s documents were maintained, the agency would still have the responsibility to retrieve those documents whenever a public records request was made.


What Ms. Cabarga did, was willfully and knowingly attempt to placate her boss and his unhappiness with my prior writings about his actions, and in so doing she thwarted my legitimate right to obtain the documents from her agency.


That’s why I believe so strongly that her action warrants a reprimand, both as a rebuke to her personally for her behavior in thwarting the law, and also as an object lesson because I believe that such a message is long overdue to other attorneys in other government agencies around Florida that they need to start honoring both the spirit and the letter of the public records law.


The cornerstone of Florida’s open government is under constant attack by public officials who are seeking every opportunity to thwart access to public records, and those providing cover and sanctioning this kind of behavior allowing politicians to trash the law are none other than lawyers like Ms. Cabarga who has an obligation as an officer of the Court to put her responsibility to honor the law before currying favor with her boss!


Please contact me if you have any further questions.


Sincerely,

Al Crespo

DECEMBER 12, 2011

DECEMBER 12, 2011

OUTSTANDING PUBLIC RECORDS LOG

DEPARTMENT  REQUESTS    DAYS OUTSTANDING

MAYOR                        1                                 65

SARNOFF                    1                                 15

POLICE                        1                                457

We’re going to start keeping a running tally of our outstanding public records requests so that folks can begin to understand that the City of Miami is a chronic violator when it comes to complying with these requests.

DDA                              1                                 62

COMMUNICATIONS    1                                 14

DECEMBER 14, 2011

A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE

COPYRIGHT 2011(C)

THIS STORY CAN BE REPRINTED AND CITED BY OTHER

NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ONLY WITH ATTRIBUTION TO

THE CRESPO-GRAM REPORT

MYTH? WHAT MYTH?
THE ARCHITECTURAL RENDERINGS TELL THE REAL STORY

On July 30th, the as part of one of the first stories that the Miami Herald wrote about the Genting casino folks, they quoted Bernardo Fort-Brescia, the head of Arquitectonica, the firm commissioned to design this “resort” as planing to do things differently when it came to the placement of the casino:



        “If Genting eventually gets approval to build a

        casino in Miami, it would not be located on the

        first floor like a typical Las Vegas casino hotel.

        Because of the elevation of the site, it can’t be

        built underground as Genting has done at other

        locations. Instead, it would go on an upper floor

        of one of the hotels, Fort-Brescia says. The casino

        would take up no more than five to 10 percent of

        the entire site plan.”


On September 15th, the Miami Herald was reporting that:


        “In order to help win legislators’ approval for a

        casino, Genting revealed that it had gained

        control over the entire mortgage on the troubled

        Omni Center, currently in foreclosure. Genting

        plans to turn that complex into the first stage of

        Resorts World Miami, opening a casino with

        restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities

        as soon as next fall — if approval comes from

        legislators for a gambling license.”


Now, it seems that Arquitectonica is being taken to the woodshed by the Genting folks for their claim that the casino is destined to be the “largest in the world.”


Not so, says Christian Goode, Genting’s top Florida mouthpiece about the size of the casino cited In an article in Tuesday’s Miami Herald.


Genting all but forced Sergio Bakas, a senior vice president of Arquitectonica, and the project’s manager, to commit Hara-Kiri as punishment for making such a claim. To make sure he doesn’t say anything else that will come back to bite them in the ass, he’s been banned from speaking to the media.


What’s a confused citizen left to do? Whose telling the truth?  The best way I believe is to look at Arquitectonica architectural rendering - with square footage included - that obviously was approved by Genting before it was released to a small group of folks to see just what they have up their sleeve.  These Genting plans were obtained through a public record’s request last month.


PART I - THE OMNI CENTER CASINO


Here are Arquitectonica’s renderings for the OMNI Center, which, if the legislature passes a casino bill would be the first  thing that Genting builds.


(To view a larger version of these floor plans, click on any page.)

The section with the Red X is designated as the Casino/Slots Hall.  It is 48,000 square feet.

X

X

The section with the Red X is designated as the 2nd level floor of the Casino.  It has 149,650 square feet

The section with the Red X is designated as the 3rd level floor of the Casino.  It has 147,000 square feet


The total square footage for the OMNI Casino, as detailed in the renderings is 344,6450 SQUARE FEET.


Now, you can quibble over a lot of things, but when it comes to detailing the square footage of casino space by a casino company, they’re never going to get mushy with the numbers.  So, right off the bat, if Genting gets a license, they’re planning a major casino at the OMNI that would become the 4th largest in the country.


This claims is made based on the list of the Top Ten casinos,  and Top Ten Indian Casinos, where 344,650 square feet would make this the 4th largest casino ahead of the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.


THE RESORT CASINO


Within a couple years of the passage of a resort casino bill, the Genting folks plan to build their “destination resort” on the current Miami Herald Property. Arquitectonica’s renderings place the casino on what they describe as the the 3rd and 4th pedestal floors, which are part of the 6 base floors that pretty much encompass the entire footprint of the property.

X

X

The section with the Red X is designated as the 3rd level floor of Gaming.  It has 234,000 square feet

The section with the Red X is designated as the 4th level floor of Gaming.  It has 271,000 square feet


This represents 505,000 square feet of Gaming space.  The total between the OMNI and Resort Casinos is 849,650 SQUARE FEET, which makes it 69,650 square feet larger than the Potawatomi Bingo Casino, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently listed as the largest casino in the world at 780,000 square feet.


So first, the story was that the casino would be located out of the way - almost as an after thought - and now we know that the OMNI SLOT HALL would be at ground level where the old Penny’s used to be.


Then, the casino was going to be the largest in the US, if not the world, and now that’s being denied, but without providing an proof that the claim is not true.


In fact, even if the OMNI casino portion were eliminated when the Resort Casino opens - something no one can realistically believe will happen - the Resort casino at 505,000 square feet would still make it one of the top five biggest in the world


How many bodies you you think they calculate it will take to lure through the doors to make the kind of money they expect to make from a casino that size?


No matter how you look at it, the Genting people have decided that a monster casino complex in downtown Miami is what they need, and the number of people that will have to show up on a daily basis just to play the slots is going to quickly turn that part of Miami into a slummy looking District with the unique pallor and grime that all casino areas have.


What the Genting gang has in mind for  Miami, is to build the largest vacuum cleaner nozzle that they can and syphon as much money out of this town as they can.


It’s Miami, Bitches.

CASINO_FLOOR_PLANS.html
CASINO_FLOOR_PLANS.html
MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL
WHO’S THE DOORMAT GOING TO CHOOSE AS POLICE CHIEF?

As I write this, El Nuevo Herald is reporting that City Manager, Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez is interviewing the final 5 candidates for Miami’s Police Chief like a guy trying to get a through a speed-dating event before someone else chooses the only hot woman in the room.


The only 2 people that anyone needs to pay attention to are Acting Chief, Manny “The Records Were Purged” Orosa, and Amos Rojas Jr, former Agent in Charge of the South Florida office of the FDLE.  The other 3 “candidates” were there just for window dressing.


Martinez is supposed to make his “choice” no later than Thursday morning, which is about the same time that Miguel Exposito will be walking into Circuit Court with the hopes that the judge bitch slaps the City for refusing to respond in a timely fashion to the lawsuit he filed after he was fired.


There’s no telling how Exposito’s case will eventually turn out, but it’s always a sign that the other side is concerned, when they try to slow-walk the process.


Just think about the email exchanges that I posted between State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle and Michelle Spence-Jones‘ lawyers when the Queen of Swag tried her best to stall Spence Jones‘ return to the City Commission, after the decision had been made months before that the charges were going to be dropped.


As it stands now Orosa and Rojas Jr. are the only two candidates with a chance to be Chief for the following reasons.


Orosa is the insider guy.  Like any organized crime family, it’s important to make sure that you got a guy who you can rely on to provide the muscle and protection.  Orosa will be that guy for Regalado.


So, Orosa is the odds on favorite to get appointed Chief. 


Amos Rojas Jr. is being handicapped as the dark horse candidate who stands a chance of getting the appointment because of his prior connections with the FDLE, and his skills as a political player. 


Putting aside the supposed personal friendship between Martinez and Rojas that supposedly developed when Martinez’s daughter worked for the FDLE, the real attraction for Regalado - and make no mistake, The Doormat will choose the next Chief, like I will become the next King of Miami, the real decision maker will be Regalado - is that word has it that the FDLE has 3-4 serious, open criminal investigations against Regalado and his pals, and by appointing Rojas, its believed they would gain someone with the insider connections and political savvy to be a conduit between the City, the FDLE and Fernandez-Rundle.


With a guy like Rojas, you don’t need a weatherman to suggest which way the wind needs to blow in order to keep His Ignorance happy and out of jail.


So, look for the big announcement either late Wednesday, or Thursday morning.  If I was a betting man, I’d give the edge to Rojas just because Regalado doesn’t want to go to jail, and Orosa is way out of his league when it comes to playing the kind of politics that might be required to make these criminal investigations disappear.


At the end of the day, that’s all that Papi Chulo and his pals are most really worried about.

DECEMBER 14, 2011

CITY MANAGER          1                                   1

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

As strange as it might seem, I have a hunch that Johnny “The Doormat” is going to pull a rabbit out of his hat when he announces “his” choice for Police Chief.


Do not put it past Regalado to really cover his ass by having “The Doormat” make Orosa the Police Chief, and then bring Amos Rojas Jr. in as the Director of Public Safety, or some such title.


There was some talk at the beginning of the year to create this position, and Regalado, by keeping Orosa as the Chief would be making sure that he’s got someone who will do his bidding in that spot, while Rojas Jr. would give him the insider political operative that some believe he desperately needs to stay out of jail.


Anything is possible in the Banana Republic of Miami, and the paramount issue that you always have to put at the top of any list of items that determine how decisions get made at City Hall, are WGFR.


I could be wrong on this, but when it comes to survival, I wouldn’t put anything past Regalado.

DECEMBER 14, 2011

DECEMBER 16, 2011

VALDORA ARTHUR SENTENCED
CHECK OUT STORY AT:
OUTSTANDING PUBLIC RECORDS LOG

DEPARTMENT  REQUESTS    DAYS OUTSTANDING

MAYOR                        1                                 67

SARNOFF                    1                                 17

We’re going to start keeping a running tally of our outstanding public records requests so that folks can begin to understand that the City of Miami is a chronic violator when it comes to complying with these requests.

DDA                              1                                 64

THE DEFENDANT BECOMES CHIEF
THE DOORMAT FOLLOWS REGALADO’S ORDERS AND APPOINTS OROSA

Manny Orosa was always the odds on favorite to be appointed Chief of Police, and even though I pitched the possibility that Amos Rojas Jr, former Agent in Charge of the South Florida office of the FDLE might be the dark horse candidate, Mayor Tomas Regalado, like the leader of any organized political/crime-family went with the safe choice, and ordered City Manager Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez to make the announcement that Orosa would be the new Chief on Thursday morning.


The decision was only minutes old when out of left field, Juan Coro, owner of La Esquisito restaurant in Little Havana sent out an email blasting the process that led to the selection of Orosa as nothing more than “a circus.”


Coro is a well known and respected business owner - and not known to be a political agitator - who had been asked by Commissioner Frank Carollo to be his representative on the civilian panel to oversee the selection committee.


Coro like several others on that committee felt from the beginning that they had been hoodwinked into being patsies by not allowing them to ask questions of the finalists, and as Coro revealed to me, by going so far as to not even providing them with the names of the 5 finalists that were chosen by the selection committee.  He found out who the 5 were by reading about it in El Nuevo Herald


The most startling news that Coro told me - and which no doubt will become a hot topic of discussion in parts of our community - because within an hour of his sending out his email a reporter from El Nuevo Herald, TV 41, NBC Channel 6, and I believe several other Latin channels were at his restaurant doing interviews - is that of the 4 individuals chosen by the City Manager to select the 5 finalists from the 10 semi-finalists, 2 of those individuals never showed up.


Neither Addy Villanueva, the new special agent in charge of the FDLE’s South Florida office or Hugo Barrera, the Special Agent in charge of the Miami bureau of the ATF supposedly took part in the interviews.  How whack is that?


This left James Loftus, the head of the Metro-Dade Police Department and Maurice Kemp, the Chief of the Miami Fire Department, whose actions in allowing Assistant Fire Chief Valdora Arthur, to remain at home on paid administrative leave for almost 6 months until she was convicted of being part of an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme, in many cities would have prompted his own removal from office.


And so, once again, His Ignorance has managed to demonstrate that going with the least qualified candidate, and blatant cronyism are first and foremost among the criteria he uses for making selections to his administration.


Of course, Orosa will pay a price for kissing Regalado’s ass: He inherits Luis Cabrera, who returns as his Number 2. 


Mark my words, it won’t be long before the rumors start leaking out of the police department that Orosa is looking for who he’s got to screw in order to get rid of Luis.


Cabrera’s has demonstrated since he’s been at the MRC that he’s a really serious problem, and now he’s Orosa’s problem.


If Orosa wasn’t such a louse you could even feel sorry for him - NOT!

OH, DOUBLE SNAP!
ETHICS COMMISSION TAKES OFFENSE AT HERALD COVERAGE

HOW EMBARRASSING IS IT WHEN EVEN CHUCKIE RABIN RIDICULES YOUR “INVESTIGATION”?

When the City of Miami’s putative mouth piece and erstwhile Miami Herald reporter Chuck Rabin, wrote his story about the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission’s decision not to do anything with Michelle Niemeyer’s ethics complaint against the DDA and its Chairman Marc Sarnoff over the DDA’s Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot campaign earlier this year, he pretty much summed up the prevailing community opinion about the effectiveness of the Ethics Commission.


Chuckie’s a guy who always has his thumb up to check on the prevailing winds, and this deal, even to him appeared questionable. 


In truth, a careful reading of Michelle’s complaint could provide an out for anyone looking for an out, just as it could have provided an opportunity to look behind the curtain into the Land of Oz.


I anticipated all of this happening, and filed my own complaint with the Ethics Commission based on advise from the State Ethics Commission.  Just before posting tonight’s stories I got a letter from the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission informing me that my complaint, filed in response to what I alleged was a violation of of Florida Statute 106.15(3), falls under the jurisdiction of the Florida Elections Commission.


The Commission also informed me that they are willing investigate my complaint under Section 2-11.1 of the Miami-Dade County Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics ordinance.


My review of that ordinance convinces me that I could drive a truck, a train and fly a 747 through the loopholes in that ordinance, and therefore I will be withdrawing my complaint from the Ethics Commission on Friday and contact the Elections Commission to see about filing with them.


And so it goes.  Michelle got turned down, Chuckie got bitch slapped, and I got detoured. At least I still have my complaint about Mayor Tomas Regalado failing to list his assets on his financial forms before the Ethics Commission.


But do not fear, I’ll be at the door of the Ethics Commission again very soon, and they won’t be happy when I show up.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

DECEMBER 16, 2011

DECEMBER 16, 2011

THE STRAWBUYERhttp://thestrawbuyer.blogspot.com/