MARCH 28 - APRIL 1

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A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE
COPYRIGHT 2011(C)
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THE CRESPO-GRAM REPORT
THE $20,232.46 WOMAN
PART III

Katherine Fernandez-Rundle is the Miami-Dade State’s Attorney who last week announced that she was going to conduct an investigation into the sweetheart deal the public officials in Miami Beach have had over the years with the various venues and vendors with whom the city does business, where, part of each deal required the city officials receiving tickets to all the events.


The Crespo-Gram Report initiated its own investigation into the practice by City of Miami officials, starting with the Mayor and his staff to take free tickets from venues like the AAA Arena, the Knight’s Center, Bayfront Park Amphitheater, and other venues as well as sweetheart deals including airline tickets and just a general plundering of anything they could get their hands on.


We’ve called on Katherine Fernandez-Rundle before to look into the blatant and flagrant abuses we, and other bloggers in South Florida have uncovered, from mortgage fraud, to the illegal construction of the Traffic Circle in front of Commissioner Sarnoff’s house, to the in-you-face abuse of both the Florida Sunshine and Public Records law, and to examples of the abuse of the City Charter, as well as the all too numerous examples of illegal payments, like today’s story about Meredith Nation being a no show worker for 10 months.


Our sources tell us that Ms. Fernandez-Rundle has absolutely no intention of ever investigating anything we - and I mean ALL of us bloggers - dig up, short of catching one of these scumbag, crooked politicians in bed next to the proverbial little boy on one side and a dead body on the other, and even then she’d run it by her select group of “political” advisors to make sure it didn’t involve any of the hand-chosen gang that she’s all but pledged never to harm no matter how scummy they behave.


So, just out of curiosity, we decided to do a little research on Ms. Rundle herself. This is what we found in less than a half hour.


The latest record we got indicates that in 2008 she made  a base salary of $153,139.92, and that from 2008 - 2010, she also received $20,232,46 in gifts: from a necklace, to flowers, to tickets, to meals, to Super Bowl  parties, to dances, to wine and car service. 


We were able to find out this information because she filed FORM 9’s, detailing these “gifts,” so that a point on the plus side for her. Unlike most of the scummy elected officials in the City of Miami, she at least filed reports.


However, the notion that a public official - ANY PUBLIC OFFICIAL - would receive almost $21,000.00 in gifts in a 33 month period is mind boggling. 


You would be hard pressed to see that in the private sector where reputable companies put strict limits on the gifts that it’s top management are allowed to receive, and the notion that the person entrusted with prosecuting wrong-doers, and therefore responsible for setting a tone of civic probity acting like a D List actress, a la Lindsey Lohan, allowed into the gift room of show biz events like the Emmys or Grammy’s and coming out with all the swag she could stuff in her bra, or drag out the door is not only unseemly, but underscores a very serious problem.


Rightly or wrongly, just because you report gifts on a FORM 9, doesn’t mean that “gifts” can’t be considered bribes or attempts to curry favor and influence. 


In Florida, you can be bribed every which way but loose, and as long as you declare it on a FORM 9, you’d be surprised how safe from prosecution you’ll be. Of course, there’a the tax issue, but file a FORM 9 and pay taxes on the “gift,” and it’s pretty hard to get prosecuted, thanks to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on “honest services.”


Does anyone really believe that this woman, who without doubt has collected more swag than any other politician in Miami-Dade County in recent years is capable of conducting a real investigation into the wholesale plunder and abuse of tickets and swag demanded by elected officials and their staffs from venues and vendors in communities across Miami-Dade County?


First, there needs to be a REAL INVESTIGATION into what is going on in the City of Miami with all the solicitation of sports, circus, concert and airline tickets as well as the abuse of power involved in calling venues up and in effect demanding tickets, and secondly, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle needs to recuse herself and her office from any investigation into these abuses, and the Florida Attorney General needs to step in!


To see a quarter-by-quarter, itemized yearly breakdown of the “gifts” that Katherine Fernandez-Rundle reported on Form 9’s click on the button.



ENTERKATHERINE_RUNDLE.html
QUEEN OF SWAG
A PIG IN THE STY
MEREDITH NATION: NO SHOW EMPLOYEE FOR 10 MONTHS, WHO STILL GOT PAID
I’ve never made an excuses for the life I’ve led.  Yes, I
robbed banks, but at least I wore a mask when I ran in and said, “Stick ‘em up!”


But the crazy shit that goes on in the City of Miami is just astounding.  You would think that after all the stuff that I’ve managed to dig up and publish, and all the stuff that Investigation Miami, Take Back Miami, The Straw Buyer, TruthDies, The Miami New Times, and everyone else I’ve missed - even including occasionally the Miami Herald, that the elected officials and Department Heads in the City of Miami might decide to put a damper on their antics.


Obviously not. Take this tale of Meredith Nation for example.


In 2008, she was “loaned” to the Downtown Development Agency (DDA), to be the Assistant Executive Director. See Commission Minutes, 7/24/08, page 91, bottom paragraph.)


In March of 2010, she was given back to the City.  I  guess her warranty ran out.


Second hand gossip has it that she returned to the Capital Improvements offices where she had originally worked, and was told by someone high up - I was provided a name but could not verify that it was this person - who told her that she should go home until they sorted things out as to her return, and that she would be called.  Again, this is unconfirmed.


What is not in dispute is that she went home in March of 2010, and stayed home until at least December of 2010, and was sent a check every 2 weeks.


Here is the letter which details that information and notified her that she was fired.

 

Her no show status was supposedly ONLY discovered after she had been reassigned to an $81,422.38, job in the city’s Purchasing Department.

As crazy as this is, there is a lot more to this story. 


Meredith Nation, like every other city employee, has to not only fill out a time card every two weeks, but that time card has to be verified by SOMEONE ELSE.


So, even though Nation was sitting home, unless she was logging in from home and illegally filling out her time card, then someone else was filing out her time card and verifying that she was diligently working for the city.


Who was that someone, and why wasn’t he/she fired too?


BETTER YET, WHY HAVEN’T THESE 2 PEOPLE BEEN ARRESTED FOR FRAUD AND GRAND THEFT?


Well, It’s Miami, Bitches!, and that someone else is reported to have a father who is a very good friend of none other than Mayor Tomas - My Friends Get City Services For Free - Regalado.


In short, the word around the MRC building is that because Daddy and the Mayor are pals, every effort is being made to protect this person for enabling Nation to get paid at least 10 months as a No-Show employee.


And the Mayor has the gall to get angry when people call Miami a Banana Republic, when in fact, he’s the Biggest Banana in the bunch!

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

MARCH 28, 2011

MARCH 28, 2011

MARCH 28, 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
DUMB AND DUMBER

Chief of Police, Miguel Exposito

Major Al Alvarez, Head of Internal Affairs

GET SERVED WITH A CEASE AND DESIST LETTER

The Crespo-Gram Report has been provided an exclusive copy of a letter sent to Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito and his henchman Major Al Alvarez, regarding claims they have made over the last several months on Latin TV Channel 41, about several individuals who Exposito and Alvarez have labeled as “Mafia” types, and part of the group of video game owners allegedly associated with Mayor Tomas Regalado in the on-going battle between the Chief and the Mayor.


Two of those “Mafia” types finally got tired of hearing the Chief and Alvarez defame them, and on March 24th, sent them, the City Manager Tony Crapp and Pedro Sevcec, of TV 41, a letter to “CEASE and DESIST,” of face the consequences.

You know that things have hit some sort of nadir when the Chief of Police gets slapped with a letter like this.


How stupid can two two guys be to be making claims that are demonstrably untrue.  Worse, why are they even allowed to be going on TV with this clown act?  Didn’t the City Manager issue a directive informing ALL city employees, most especially the Chief and Alvarez that they could be appearing on TV without his permission?


Obviously Exposito and Alvarez have pretty much gotten Tony Crapp’s number - and maybe a little audio and video tape too.


In any event, when the Chief of Police of a major American city gets slapped with a Cease and Desist letter for going on TV and referring to people as connected to the “Mafia,” when it turns out that the U.S. Department of Justice, upon their own investigation cleared these two guys as having” no criminal involvement in the racketeering conspiracy with the other defendants, and that Tomas Cabrarizo and Yoram Izhak were neither aware of the other defendants’ illegal activities, nor the source of the funds used by certain of the defendants to invest in their businesses,” somebody needs to put a muzzle on the Chief.


Instead, the Crespo-Gram Report has learned that in a panic to try and get out from under a possible lawsuit Exposito and Alvarez have now started pleading to the FBI to help them gather new information, including possibly putting a tail on these guys.


And, if that weren’t enough stupid shit to deal with over the video gaming machines, the lawyers for the “Lucky 7”  group of machine owners who were arrested last October have now filed a civil theft suit claiming that the Chief stole their machines.


It really is a Banana Republic in Miami, Bitches!

To read a larger version, click on copy above.

CEASE_AND_DESISIT_LETTER.html

To read the complete lawsuit, click on copy above.

LAWSUIT_AGAINST_CHIEF.html
PHOTO OF THE DAY

COMMISSIONER FRANK CAROLLO, CONGRESSMAN DAVID RIVERA & MAYOR TOMAS REGALADO, DISCUSS THEIR MEMBERSHIP IN THE CLUB,

DEWY, CHEATEM & HOWE.  PERHAPS ONE OF

THEM WILL SOON BE MY LODGE BROTHER?

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
WHEN FRANKIE WENT TO SPAIN: EVER WONDER HOW POLITICIANS MANAGE TO GET SPECIAL DEALS?
PART III

In the last year, Mayor Tomas Regalado has taken Commissioner Frank Carollo under his wing, while at the same time, Frank’s older brother Joe, who used to be Mayor, has taken to Latin TV alleging that Regalado is a crook who has been in bed all along with the video gaming machine operators, going so far as to name names.


We know that Regalado has done Carollo favors, but have the favors been worth it, and is the devious Regalado doing Carollo the kind of favors that will eventually blow up in his face as a payback for brother Joe’s outspoken hatred of him.


Only the Shadow knows, and he keeps telling me that prolonging the climax is a hallmark of maturity.


So until then, here’s a little example of Frank Carollo being in the right place at the right time.


Last June Commissioner Frank Carollo went to Spain.  He flew on AirEuropa Airlines, and he stayed at the Gran Melia Fenix hotel in Madrid. He got the ticket and the hotel room as gifts, and in a rare case of complying with the gift requirements, he filed out a FORM 9.

Even though he complied in reporting these “gifts,” I was curious when I saw the FORM 9 as to who had paid for the airline ticket and hotel room, and most importantly, why.  So, I wrote the Commissioner and asked him:

   Mayor Tomas Regalado, Commissioner Frank Carollo, and Juan Jose  

   Hidalgo, at Miami City Hall, March 22, 2010.

For some inexplicable reason, he didn’t respond. So, I started digging, and after a while I discovered that back in April - two months before the Commissioner flew to Madrid, -he had been the only Commissioner to attend a meeting in the Mayor’s office with representatives of AirEuropa and the Spanish Minister of Tourism for the proclamation of Air Europa Day, where Keys To The City, and nice plaque to put on the office wall back home was presented.

Mayor Tomas Regalado, gives Juan Jose Hidalgo, the head of AirEuropa, a Key To The City and a plaque, while Commissioner Carollo happily looks on.

After my discovery of this information and the photographs, I wrote the Commissioner another letter asking for an explanation regarding how he obtained his ticket from AirEuropa to go to Spain.

As of the 21st, the Commissioner had declined to respond to my inquiry.


But my questions still deserve answers, especially since you can bet a dollar to a donut that Carollo’s deal to get the plane ticket and hotel room were done during the meeting in the Mayor’s office, and that Regalado probably played a part in helping the deal go forward.


So, once again Commissioner, how many tickets did you get, and if it was more than one, who went with you, and how long were you in Spain?


And while we’re at it, FORM 9 requires that. “If any receipt for a gift listed above was provided to you by the person making the gift, you are required to attach a copy of that receipt to this form.”


So where’s a copy of your airline ticket and your hotel bill?  Those are receipts, and you couldn’t get on the plane, or leave the hotel without having been provided with them.


TIE A YELLOW RIBBON ROUND THESE OAK TREES


Airline tickets aren’t the only benefit the Commissioner received since he assumed office. There’s also the deal about the Royal Palm and Oak trees that started being planted in the Eastern half of District 3 since he became a Commissioner.

Two of those trees were Oak’s planted in the swale in front of the Commissioner’s house on SW 14th Avenue. The trees were valued at $3200 each.


Below are 5 Royal Palms planted in the swale in front of a house off of SW 12th Avenue.

After I took these photographs last year, I went to the City’s MRC building in an effort to track down who had authorized these trees being planted. I was eventually directed to Robert Fenton, who is the City’s Project Manager for the new parking garages being built as part of the new baseball stadium.


When I found Fenton, I asked him who had authorized the planting of these trees.


His response was, “I can’t tell you.”


“Why not?” I asked.


“Because if I tell you, I’ll get in trouble,” he responded.


My answer to that was, “ Guess what!  You’re already in trouble for telling me that.”


Fenton refused to answer any more of my questions and told me to send him a public records request if I wanted any further information.


I did, and he refused to answer.  I then wrote letters to Julie Bru - the $379,000 a year nitwit that passes for the Miami City Attorney - and detailed what Fenton had told me.  I then asked her for the records.


This went on for over 4 months until I wrote Bru on February 22nd, and told her I was getting ready to sue the City over these documents. Eight days later I got the following response from Fenton.

Below is a copy of R-10-0009, which identified Commissioner Carollo in Section 2, as the ultimate arbiter of where the trees were to be planted.

So, in all of District 3, the Commissioner decided that the best place to plant 2 Oak trees valued at $3200 apiece, was the swale in front of his house, and it only took about 4 months and a threat of a lawsuit before I finally got Fenton to provide me some proof of  that.


But the larger question still remains: Why those houses?  Even though the trees are planted in the swale, they represent a major enhancement for the owners of those properties.


Was there a lottery to determine who’s houses in District 3 got trees, or was it a case of looking out for a “cousin?”


A CLOSING COMMENT ON PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS


For those who think what I and others do when it comes to seeking documents through public record requests is simple and straightforward, think again.  About once every 2 or 3 weeks I have to start a letter to someone in city government with the threat of a lawsuit in order for them to obey the law.  Only this week I had to write Julie Bru the following:


        “Ms. Bru, I keep asking you for compliance

        with previous public records requests that

        you've assumed the responsibility for responding

        to, and then I never get any response.  So, do you

        think perhaps I ought to sue you as a way to spur

        some activity on this issue?”


Miami-Dade County is even worse.  They either don’t know the law, or worse, the pretend that the public record’s law doesn’t exist, and get an attitude when I start quoting the law, chapter and verse to them.


One of the best ways to measure the honesty and integrity of public officials and employees is how they respond to public record requests.  The honest ones waste no time in complying.  The crooked one, the weasels, the assholes will engage in every stall tactic that they can.


But, one way or another, those of us engaged in this fight will continue to get the documents, and with them, we’ll continue to reveal the corruption and self-dealing that passes for public service in the City of Miami.


                                       *  *  *  *  *

THIS IS END OF PART IV OF THIS SERIES.  NEXT WEEK WE’LL HAVE ANOTHER CHAPTER OF THIS SERIES DETAILING MORE EXAMPLES OF ABUSING THE

PUBLIC TRUST

These 4 were planted further South off of SW 12th Avenue.

-City Archives

-City Archives

-City Archives

LET THE SEARCH BEGIN

MARCH 30, 2011

MARCH 30, 2011

MARCH 30, 2011

MIAMI NEW TIMES GIVES US A SHOUT OUT

Sometimes it’s hard for people to wade through a complicated explanation of fraud perpetrated by public officials and their business “friends,” but it’s always easy to understand grubby, freeloading behavior like taking free tickets, and generally sponging anything of value from people looking to gain some influence in the political process.


We thank the Miami New Times for giving us a shout out today, and we promise that we’ve still got more explosive examples of how the folks at Miami City Hall are screwing the pooch that we’ll be publishing on a regular basis.

MULTI-MEDIA FRIDAY

Folks have been sending me links for videos and audio files, so I decided that this would be a good day to kind of do a catch up and, if you haven’t seen any of these yet, provide you with a weekend multi-media experience, in anticipation of next week’s continuing expose of Miami city employees screwing the pooch.

THIS IS THE GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA - SERIOUSLY, THIS IS THE GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA

This is a highly edited, but revealing look at Rick Scott, the Governor of Florida during a deposition when he was the president of CAC Healthcare in 1995.  Like I said, this is now the Governor of Florida.

CARLOS GEMINEZ GOES AFTER JULIO ROBAINA

Two weeks ago I posted the 4 song parodies that the PBA put together in their campaign to go after Carlos Gimenez in the County Mayor’s race.  This week, Carlos goes after Julio Robaina over the Marlin’s stadium deal.

POLICE CHIEF EXPOSITO HAS GOTTEN A MEDIA JONES

Miami Police Chief Miguel Exposito seems to have developed an almost constant need to go on TV or radio to continue bashing the Mayor.  If there was ever a pair that deserved to be handcuffed together for eternity it’s Regalado and Exposito.

A FRIDAY FUNNY

It takes a little while for this guy to actually answer the question, but when he does, it’s priceless.

GOING TO THE TENNIS TOURNAMENT?

If you’re going to the tennis tournament this weekend and see any of the members of the City Commission, City Manager, the Mayor, Ada Rojas or anybody who you figure might have gotten tickets from any of the above sitting in any of the box seats, take their photos and send them to me.


al@alcrespo.net

APRIL 11TH IS THE CRESPO-GRAM REPORT’S 1ST ANNIVERSARY!

Any suggestions on how we should celebrate the day?  It’s got to be cheap, but I’m open to any suggestions to commemorate the day.  Maybe Harry Gottlieb could give a talk on “My view from inside the Regalado administration?”


Maybe we could do a flash mob, however they’re organized?


Maybe we could meet for a casual drink at Mr. Moe’s?


All suggestions welcome!


al@alcrespo.net

APRIL 1, 2011

APRIL 1, 2011

APRIL 1, 2011