AUGUST 5 , 2013



Copy the link below, and it will be a permanent link to this page that you can post on Facebook, or anywhere else.

Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones has always been fierce about making sure that the folks in her District were covered when it came to jobs.

Seldom does a City Commission meeting go by where she is not demanding that a project coming before the Commission for approval contains provisions for jobs or job training to be made available for folks in her District.

Therefore, it was interesting to learn last week from the email response that I got to my public records request about the identity of  Selection Committee chosen to give away 3 city blocks of Overtown that the SEOPW CRA lawyer who responded had an office in Broward County.

What’s up with that?

Are there no lawyers with an office in District 5, the City of Miami, or even Miami-Dade County capable of handling this job? Did the Commissioner really have to go all the way to Broward County to find another outside counsel for a Miami CRA?

It isn’t like Jessica Pacheco is on anybody’s list of legal rockstars.  After all, when she worked for the City of Miami she got fired and was supposedly escorted out the door by Luis Cabrera.

So, just what is the deal here? Is this just a case where the Commissioner panders to the poor folks in her District by claiming to be the champion for often low wage jobs while ignoring an opportunity to hire a local attorney?

It’s not that the SEOPW CRA lacks for lawyers. They have an Assistant City Attorney assigned to be their inside counsel, and they’ve had Holland and Knight as their real outside counsel for decades, so what’s the need for another outside counsel, and just what is she doing that couldn’t be done by either the Assistant City ttorney or the attorney from Holland and Knight?

Someone might want to find out how much Jessica Pacheco is getting paid by the SEOPW CRA and then while you’re at it, how much the lawyer from Holland and Knight gets paid?

While you’re at it, you might want to find out what the payroll for the SEOPW CRA is, and how much they’re paying the lobbyists and accountants they’ve got on the payroll.

In fact, someone ought to contact the Auditors for the State of Florida to come down here ASAP - before Spence-Jones is out the door - and do a forensic accounting of the SEOPW CRA, like they’s done to several other CRA’s around the state where they discovered millions of dollars of waste and financial hanky-panky.

Given the history of the SEOPW CRA, and the information that I was able to dig up as part of my 8 Part Series a few months ago, not to conduct a forensic audit of this CRA at this time would be the height of financial irresponsibility!

And you need the State Auditors to come in to do the audit because you damn sure can’t trust either the County’s Inspector General who has never seriously looked at how any of the City of Miami’s CRA have operated - even though the County is supposed to oversee the finances of these agencies, and for sure you can’t trust the City of Miami’s supposed Independent Auditor.

The fact that 10‘s of millions of dollars and at least 6 blocks of downtown property are going to be given away in the next 4 months, should by the very nature of how this is being done warrant independent oversight because Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones, and not Little Bo Peep, and there might be an interesting reason as to why she feels the need to be surrounded by so many lawyers at this particular time.

It’s Miami, Bitches!