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FREE TICKETS EVERYWHERE
A NEW ETHICS COMPLAINT CHALLENGES ANOTHER BENEFIT OF BEING AN INSIDER AT CITY HALL

FEBRUARY 6, 2012

For almost a year I’ve been doing occasional stories of how the Mayor, the City Commission and other insiders at City Hall benefit from either asking for, or being provided with free tickets and other perks not available to the average rank and file employee.


It all started when I discovered a series of emails from Ada “The Thuget” Rojas, to then Knight Center manager Dan Newhoff, repeatedly asking for tickets to different shows at the Center.


From there I discovered the efforts - including the Mayor actually writing emails himself - to get tickets for Heat games, at one of which His Ignorance and his son Jose posed for a photo with the actor Sean Penn, along with tickets for one of Don King’s Boxing Extravaganzas.

- PhotoDonKing

I had wanted to dig further into this whole ticket issue, but things got away from me, what with all the craziness that happened in City Hall last year, so it was only in late November that I decided to refocus on trying to find out what the real story was about the tickets that came from the facilities that the City owns like the Knight Center and the Bayfront Park Amphitheater.


The information I obtained was enough to put together an Ethics Complaint against the Mayor, the City Commissioners and any number of other folks who are required to report the receipt of anything of value over $100.00 in a quarterly FORM 9.


Like so many other things that these folks ignore, none of them - except for 1 event each by Commissioner Willie Gort, Commissioner Carollo and City Attorney Julie Bru - ever bothered to comply with the law.


So now, we’ll see what the Ethics Commission has to say about this, if anything. 


One new fun item I discovered in digging around was that last year, Norman Braman paid for 2 tables at the Mayor’s First Annual Ball. 

And sure enough, here at 4 of the 5 Commissioners at their table. 

Last week I wrote about how Art Noriega passes out City-Wide Parking decals as a little perk for the Mayor, the City Manager, the Commissioners, the City Attorney and others so that they wouldn’t have to put those unsightly Parking Placards on their car dashboards.


This week, its all about the countless free tickets that many of these same people and others get as a way to enjoy themselves after a stressful day at the office.


In the meantime there are hundreds of city employees who are being paid less than the Living Wage Requirements. None of those employees ever get offered free tickets to go see Cirque de Soleil, or shows at the Knight Center or Bayfront Park.


The men and women who pick up the trash and clean the parks, and do the real labor that keeps the City of Miami clean and operating with some level of competence do so in silence, and without so much as a thank you from the 5 Dwarfs and the Mayor.


The only thanks that many lower paid city employees can expect is the Regalado administration scheming to try and get as many of them replaced by temporary workers hired through an Employment Agency as a way to evade having to pay anyone benefits.


None of those hard-working folks would ever dream of sitting at a table paid for by Norman Braman, because in the land of Miami, Bitches!, it’s the pigs who get fed first, and then they try to keep it all secret by refusing to report their swag.


Below is a copy of the Ethics Complaint.  To look at a version that also has copies of all of the Exhibits, click  HERE.

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