NOVEMBER 28 - DECEMBER 2

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NOVEMBER 28, 2011

OUTSTANDING PUBLIC RECORDS LOG

DEPARTMENT  REQUESTS    DAYS OUTSTANDING

MAYOR                      1                                53

CRA                           1                                  5(*)

POLICE                      3                              443/15

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.


(*)  Received a response, now I have to verify if it correct.

DDA                            1                                 49

NOVEMBER 28, 2011

STUPID IN MIAMI
WHEN THE ALIENS COME, TELL THEM SOME PEOPLE IN THIS BUILDING ARE REALLY STUPID, BUT TASTE GOOD
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

How about those Marlins.  They might play like shit on the baseball field, but when it comes to screwing the taxpayers of Miami, they manage to do it without breaking a sweat.


When I first read about the way that they had snookered the  City of Miami over the expenses and taxes associated with the parking garages part of the new baseball stadium, I suspected that maybe they had hidden the clause in a paragraph deep in the contract.


Obviously, after getting the measure of ignorance of the folks representing the taxpayers, the Marlins figured, why bother.  


They put the clause right out in the open, where they obviously figured it wouldn’t be noticed by the morons.  In addition to being responsible for the taxes, take a look at all the other things that the City is responsible for in this deal, which weren’t spelled out in the Miami Herald story, including providing cleaning services.


To view a larger version, click on the document.

It was easy for the Mayor to be surprised and evade all responsibility for this debacle by claiming that he didn’t vote for the stadium last week - he’s also still surprised that his campaign finances aren’t in order - but what about the Chief Financial Officer, the City Manager and everyone else involved with the final decision.


Here are pages 60 - 69 of the February 13, 2009, Special Meeting of the Miami City Commission meeting dealing with the stadium and parking lot contracts.


I’ve highlighted several portions that I think are key to understanding who was probably the most responsible for allowing the parking lot tax issue sailing over everyone’s head.


To view a PDF of the minutes of the whole meeting, including pages 60-69, click on the pages below.

It’s always easy to be a Monday morning quarterback, and in this case the minutes of the City Commission meeting provide plenty of ammunition to question the competency of former Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring, former City Manager Pete Hernandez and the nameless assistant City Attorneys who had a hand in vetting these contracts.


Clearly Larry Spring bears a great deal of the responsibility, given his prominence in being the “explainer” of the fine points of the contract.


Commissioner Sarnoff also bears some responsibility because he was doing his usual, ‘I’m the smartest Commissioner up here, so I get to ask all the questions.”


It’s very clear from the first portion that I highlighted in RED that Sarnoff had read the clause, and yet although most of the other cost items were mentioned in one way or another no one asked what should have been - again, we’re Monday morning quarterbacking here - the most obvious question, “What about this tax thing here?”


Of course, Pete Hernandez is gone, Larry Spring is gone, along with a $125,734.56 Golden Parachute that City Attorney Julie Bru says is to difficult to claw back, and I’ve been told that the Assistant City Attorney who was probably responsible for vetting the contracts is gone too.


And so what the city is left with is that everybody responsible has left the building with pensions and parachutes, and His Ignorance is once again stunned by something disastrous happening to the city on his watch.


The members of the Miami-Dade County Commission meanwhile, are sizing up the situation and how best to screw the city in ways to wondrous to describe, as the inducement to let them off the hook on this fuckup.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

SARNOFF MONDAY MORNING UPDATE

As part of my post on Sunday night I asked if anyone had seen a mention of Commissioner Sarnoff expressing surprise over the baseball parking lot property tax.


This morning a loyal Crespo-Gram reader with more brain cells than me, sent me the link to the column by Fred Grimm that included the following:


“City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, who also voted against the city’s descent into baseball madness, said Thursday he was “stunned, shocked, just blown away” by the property appraiser’s notice.

He remembers, before the stadium vote, that city commissioners were assured by both city and county officials that the parking garage “would be tax-exempt, just like the stadium.”

Sarnoff, a lawyer, thinks that the county’s role in the 2009 presentation amounts to an “inducement” for the city to join the stadium deal, and gives the city has a strong legal case against the tax ruling.”

This coincides with the comments that Dan Ricker in the Watchdog report attributed to him in his last report:

“Further, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff (Net worth $2.08 million) in a conversation with former Carnival Cruise CEO Bob Dickinson Thursday at Camillus House when they were discussing the issue. Sarnoff said he had asked then Mayor Manny Diaz and senior county staff about the property tax issue and he said he was assured that the garages would be exempt. He even believes he has a memo on the subject and the meeting but it is clearly another wrinkle in the expensive saga of the new stadium, that when financing is thrown in, comes in costing $2.4 billion over the next decades.”


As I stated last night, It will be interesting to see that memo, and learn when and where the meeting that Sarnoff references  took place.

In addition, over the years, much has been made of Sarnoff’s switcheroo over his vote to oppose the construction of the stadium, and then his vote to support the waiver of competitive bidding, which for all practical purposes undid his NO vote on the stadium’s construction.

Here, from the Commission meeting minutes is Regalado’s comments before he voted NO, Sarnoff’s justification and the final vote on the waiver of the RFP for competitive bidding.

To read a larger version, click on the document.

Even though I chew on Regalado’s ass on a regular basis on this site, he maintained his principles on this issue to the end.  Sarnoff on the other hand, showed no such principles.


No one should ever, ever allow Sarnoff to claim that he was opposed to the stadium deal, and use his NO vote as his justification.


His vote to remove the requirement for an RFP to require competitive bidding was the real vote on whether the stadium was going to get built, and on that vote his justification for voting YES illustrates just how unprincipled and duplicitous he was then, and continues to be today.

NOVEMBER 28, 2011

STADIUM_PARKING_LOT_DOCUMENTS.html
STADIUM_PARKING_LOT_DOCUMENTS.html
STADIUM_PARKING_LOT_DOCUMENTS.html

NOVEMBER 30, 2011

OUTSTANDING PUBLIC RECORDS LOG

DEPARTMENT  REQUESTS    DAYS OUTSTANDING

MAYOR                      1                                53

SARNOFF                  1                                  2

POLICE                      3                              443/15

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                                 49

NOVEMBER 30, 2011

HIS IGNORANCE
EARNS AN ETHIC’S COMPLAINT FOR FAILING TO FILE A PROPER FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORM
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

AL CRESPO

689 NE 92nd Street 305.759.4788 

Miami, FL 33138        


November 28, 2011


The Miami-Dade Ethics Commission

19 W. Flagler Street’

Miami, FL 33130



To Whom It May Concern:


This is a complaint against the Mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado, for his failure to truthfully and completely disclose his financial interests as required by Miami Code, Section 2-619.


For years, Regalado has claimed to be the poorest politician in Miami with a net worth of anywhere between $5000 to $9300.  In order to maintain this fiction, he has repeatedly failed to comply with the requirements of the providing ALL of the information on assets and liabilities in excess of $5000.


To support my allegation, I am providing you with the Financial Disclosure forms filed by Regalado during his first 2 years as Mayor, the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser’s on-line information on Regalado’s home, and a copy of one of his pay stubs.


In addition to failing to provide information on his home, it would appear that perhaps the Mayor has also failed to provide information on his bank account as well.


I believe this is a simple and straightforward complaint, with enough documentation to reach a conclusion that the Mayor has failed in his responsibilities to be truthful in his reporting.


Cordially,


Al Crespo

I GET MAIL ASKING WHY NOTHING HAPPENS

Since I’ve been posting stories on this site, I’ve gotten all kinds of letters.  Most have been encouraging, some have been angry, a few have been confused, and the ones that have concerned me the most have been the ones that ask why nothing seems to happen after I do a story that details something sleazy going on.


First, things do happen.  Never forget that Marc Sarnoff no longer operates an illegal law firm in a house in Coconut Grove.  Robert Meyers is no longer the Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission and Harry Gottlieb is no longer the City of Miami Film Commissioner. This website had a hand in making those things happen.


Several of my stories have led to projects like the Marine Stadium and Crosswinds being stopped, and if not stopped permanently, they’re stopped until changes are made to remove the reasons for me writing about them again.


Other stories, like the $200,000 attempted bribe check for  former Chief Exposito have led to some of the news media starting to pay more attention to what happens at Miami City Hall, and overall, that’s a good thing.


In fact, that’s one of the things that I’m proudest about, getting the news media and bloggers to start focusing more on the City of Miami, and digging to get material for more in-depth stories, like the story in the Miami Herald, and El Nuevo Herald today by Melissa Sanchez about the way in which convicted Assistant Fire Chief Valdora Arthur was treated in the months after she was indicted.


My story about Larry Spring and his $125,734.56 Golden Parachute forced the City Commission to change the policy about crumb bums who screw the city and then waltz out the door with a fat severance package.


Of course there have been some bad things too.  As the Regalado administration has come to understand the impact of what happens when someone like me gets their hands on their emails, a number of supposed “public” officials have started conducting public business in private by creating private email accounts.


They’ve also decided that one way to try and stop me from getting information is to block me from the MRC building.  I still get stopped and questioned when I enter the building, but, I’ll be dealing with that all in due time.


Overall, I too am as disappointed as some of the letter writers are that Katherine Fernandez-Rundle seems to feel t emboldened enough to provide protection for corrupt and dirty politicians and their pals.


Hialeah and the City of Miami stand as vivid examples of what happens when you have a State Attorney unwilling to go after public corruption.


In an effort to do what I can to balance the scales a little bit,  I have decided to change my tactics.  Instead of just writing stories, I’m now going to start following up by filing complaints with the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission, The Florida Ethics Commission, the Florida Bar, the IRS, the FDLE and, when all else fails I’m going to make 2012 the year of the lawsuit.


It’s not the best way, nor the fastest, and I’m sure that there will be roadblocks along the way, but since very few other people are willing to come forward to do anything with the stories that I write, the only choice is to do it myself.


A couple weeks ago I filed my first complaint with the Florida Bar, and on Monday of this week, I filed my first complaint with the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission as part of this new campaign.  There will be more to follow.


My complaint is below.  It’ll be kind of hard for the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission to screw this one up, but we’ll see what happens.

Last week I wrote a story about how Tomas Regalado has portrayed himself as the poorest politician in Miami-Dade County, by failing to disclose his true net worth.


That’s a violation of the County’s Ethics Code, so on Monday I filed a complaint with the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission.


Let’s see where this takes us.

If you didn’t read my original story about Regalado’s finances, click on the button.

NOVEMBER 30, 2011

THE STRAW BUYER GETS A WELL DESERVED SHOUT OUT

Mike over at The Straw Buyer got a well deserved shout out from Melissa Sanchez at the El Nuevo Herald, over his being the one who originally broke the story about Miami Assistant Fire Chief Valdora Arthur being arrested on mortgage fraud.


Mike kept the story alive and fresh with his digging into the court records and his inside contacts who kept him abreast of the latest developments on this story.


Here’s a tip of the hat to Melissa, for showing respect for Mike’s efforts. To read Melissa’s own investigative reporting on this saga, click here:

NOVEMBER 30, 2011


CLICKREGALADO_FINANCES.html

CLICKhttp://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/29/2523433/indicted-miami-fire-official-paid.html

DECEMBER 2, 2011

OUTSTANDING PUBLIC RECORDS LOG

DEPARTMENT  REQUESTS    DAYS OUTSTANDING

MAYOR                      1                                55

SARNOFF                  1                                  4

POLICE                      2                              445/50

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                                 51

NOVEMBER 30, 2011

COME AND VISIT

Want to do something on Sunday, but don’t want to put up with the hassles of dealing with the Art Basel traffic and crowds?


Come spend some time at the MIMO STREET FESTIVAL.


I’m going to have a table there, and the first 150 folks that come by can have a free, autographed copy of my PARADISE POSTER.

I’m also going to have copies of my coffee-table book, PROTEST IN THE LAND OF PLENTY for sale, but most importantly, just stop by for a chat.


It should be a fun day for the family, and there’s going to be a lot of stuff for kids.

I NEED YOUR HELP

In order to bring focus to the continuing mis-behavior of folks in Miami City Government, I need folks to help me out.


Below are the highlights of the Miami-Dade Ethics Code.  Take a look at it, and see if you can spot some examples where some our favorite politicians might be screwing the pooch.


As usual, you can click on the document and it will take you to a page with a larger version.


if these guidelines prompt any thoughts, send me an email, and I’ll check it out.  Thanks.  al@alcrespo.net

DECEMBER 2, 2011

I WON’T BE POSTING ANY STORIES ON MONDAY OF NEXT WEEK.  I EXPECT TO POST ON TUESDAY, AND IT WILL BE A BLOCKBUSTER!

MIAMI-DADE_ETHICS_CODE.html