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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

MARCH 10, 2014

THE SAGA AIN’T OVER
JUST  HOW MUCH DID  IT COST FRANK CAROLLO TO FIGHT THE ETHICS COMPLAINT, AND HOW IS HE PAYING FOR IT?

After the news broke last week that Miami City Commissioner Frank Carollo had copped a “No Contest” plea to the ethics charge that he had Exploited His Official Position For Gain, some folks commented on the fact that the $1000 fine and the $1404.15 in costs was a lot more than whatever the costs of the traffic ticket would have been.


That’s true. 


But what everyone seemed to have overlooked was that Frankie was also incurred a hefty legal bill.  He was, after all, represented by Ben Kuehne.


Kuehne started representing Carollo all the way back in November of 2012, at the Probable Cause hearing. That means that Kuehne has represented Carollo for at least 17 months, including the Probable Cause hearing, the depositions of Miami Police Chief Manny Orosa and Officer Blackerby, the first Public Hearing on the charge last September, and this latest hearing last week. 


I calculate that all of those hearings came to between 6-7 hours. Then there was prep time, which many lawyers calculate at 2 hours for every hour of hearing, so that’s another 12-14 hours, and then there are the hours that Kuehne spent in negotiations trying to work out a deal for Carollo.


So, to be conservative, let’s say that Ben Kuehne spent a total of 25 hours defending Frank Carollo. 


I’ve talked to a couple folks who know more about this than I do, and they all calculate that Kuehne probably charges $500 to $650 an hour.  So let go with $500 an hour.  The 25 hours comes to $12,500.00. Add the $1000 fine and $1404.15 in costs and that totals out at $14,904.15.


Now, this is just an estimate, but I think its a reasonable estimate. So, a traffic ticket - had it ever come to that - that might have costs the Commissioner at most, $128.00, ended up costing him close to $15,000.


And mind you, what every one at City Hall keeps laughing about is that if Carollo had actually gotten a traffic ticket he could have just driven to City Hall, handed it to the Sgt-At-Arms that’s assigned to him, and told him, “Take care of this.”, and the ticket would have disappeared.


But none of that happened, and so Frankie is on the hook for a considerable amount of money.  Of course, Kuehne could have cut him a special deal, because not only did he represent him before the Ethics Commission, but he also seems to have provided him with legal services during his reelection campaign.


Almost 3 months after he was reelected, Carollo filed his last campaign report where he revealed that on January 30, 2014, he paid Kuehne $3,000.00 in Professional Fees. 

Now, normally I wouldn’t think that Frank Carollo would be stupid enough to pay the lawyer defending him on an ethics charge with campaign finance money, but then who’d have thought he’d be stupid enough to call the Chief of Police on a simple traffic violation?

We’ll see whether the Commissioner responds, or whether I’ll be forced to turn this over to the Florida Elections Commission and let them start going through Frank’s campaign finances to find out if he’s really as dumb as many are now convinced he is, because only an idiot who proclaims himself to be the protector of the city’s finances would be stupid enough to end up paying as much as Frank has for a traffic stop that revealed that he was just another corrupt politician all to willing to abuse his position at the first opportunity.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

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