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NOVEMBER 7, 2011

NOVEMBER 10, 2011

THIS IS THE WAY TO DEAL WITH THE CITY ATTORNEYS WHO CONTINUE TO TRASH THE PUBLIC RECORDS LAW
IT ISN’T NICE TO LIE
A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE
COPYRIGHT 2011(C)
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NEWS ORGANIZATIONS ONLY WITH ATTRIBUTION TO 
THE CRESPO-GRAM REPORT

Last week I got quite a few comments about how I had managed to expose the attorney for the CRA lying to me about the emails that the CRA had in their possession from David Karsh to the DDA over the Get-Out-The-Vote/Absentee Ballot scheme.


The continued way in which City Attorney Julie Bru and her assistants twist and turn the public records law every which way in order to provide cover for all of the corrupt public officials is the thing that has come to piss me off the most in my dealing with the City of Miami. 


I hate weasel-fuck lawyers who forsake their responsibilities and obligations, because they’ve become the principal enablers for a lot of the bad things that are undermining our country.


I can’t take on all the corrupt lawyers, but in order to make the city attorneys understand that what they are doing when it comes to the Public Records Law and the other sleazy decisions they’ve been making to thwart access to buildings and frustrate the rights of citizens to keep tabs on city government, I have decided to engage in a new tactic to drive home the point that these lawyers have a responsibility and obligation to safeguard the laws of this state and not shit on them at every opportunity.


Below is the first of what expect will be an ongoing filing of similar complaints filed against city attorneys for their unethical and sleazy  behavior.

AL CRESPO

689 NE 92nd Street 305.759.4788 

Miami, FL 33138        


November 9, 2011


Mr. John F. Harknesss

Executive Director

THE FLORIDA BAR

651 E. Jefferson Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399 - 2300



COMPLAINT AGAINST CARMEN R. CABARGA, ESQ.


To Whom It May Concern:


On October 26, 2011, as part of the research I was conducting for an article on my website that I was writing about a possible abuse of power and misuse of public funds related to the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), and their Chairman, Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, I had reason to write an email to Mr. Pieter Bockweg, Executive Director of the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency(CRA).  This was a group also Chaired by Commissioner Sarnoff and I had been led to believe that they had public records related to my story. (Exhibit I)


On October 27, as I had indicated in my email, I stopped by the office of the CRA, and was informed by Ms. Carmen Cabarga, the staff attorney for the CRA that there were “no documents relative to my request.”  She further indicated that I should direct my requests for emails to the City of Miami’s IT Department.


I asked her to provide me that response in writing.  She did. (Exhibit II)


On October 28th, I published my story about the DDA and Mr. Sarnoff that included copies of emails written and/or received by the former Director of Communications of the CRA, Mr. David Karsh, which revealed that Mr. Karsh had requested to be included in this questionable activity at the revealing order of his superior, Mr. Bockweg. (Exhibit III)


The fact that Ms. Cabarga willfully denied the existence of any documents, when in fact documents existed that revealed a relationship between representatives of the DDA and the CRA I believe constitutes a violation of her responsibility as an Officer of the Court to respond truthfully when complying with requests for information and/or documents dealing with F.S. 119, also known as Florida’s Public Records Law. 


I refer you to several portions of the Florida Sunshine manual where the question of whether a custodian may attempt to deny access to records in their control by claiming that they are also under the control of another party, as in Ms. Cabarga’s claim that the CRA’s emails are to be requested from the City of Miami’s IT Department.


4. What agency employees are responsible for responding to public records requests?

Section 119.011(5), F.S., defines the term "custodian of public records" to mean "the elected or appointed state, county, or municipal officer charged with the responsibility of maintaining the office having public records, or his or her designee." However, the courts have concluded that the statutory reference to the records custodian does not alter the "duty of disclosure" imposed by s. 119.07(1), F.S., upon "[e]very person who has custody of a public record." Puls v. City of Port St. Lucie, 678 So. 2d 514 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996). [Emphasis supplied by the court].

Thus, the term "custodian" for purposes of the Public Records Act refers to all agency personnel who have it within their power to release or communicate public records. Mintus v. City of West Palm Beach, 711 So. 2d 1359 (Fla. 4th DCA 1998) (citing Williams v. City of Minneola, 575 So. 2d 683, 687 [Fla. 5th DCA 1991]). But, "the mere fact that an employee of a public agency temporarily possesses a document does not necessarily mean that the person has custody as defined by section 119.07." Id. at 1361. In order to have custody, one must have supervision and control over the document or have legal responsibility for its care, keeping or guardianship. Id. And see Alterra Healthcare Corporation v. Estate of Shelley, 827 So. 2d 936, 940n.4 (Fla. 2002), noting that "only the custodian" of agency personnel records may assert any applicable statutory exemption to disclosure, "not the employee."


5. May an agency refuse to comply with a request to inspect or copy the agency's public records on the grounds that the records are not in the physical possession of the custodian?

No. An agency is not authorized to refuse to allow inspection of public records it made or received in connection with the transaction of official business on the grounds that the documents are in the actual possession of an agency or official other than the records custodian. See Wallace v. Guzman, 687 So. 2d 1351 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997) (public records cannot be hidden from the public by transferring physical custody of the records to the agency's attorneys); Tober v. Sanchez, 417 So. 2d 1053 (Fla. 3d DCA 1982), review denied sub nom., Metropolitan Dade County Transit Agency v. Sanchez, 426 So. 2d 27 (Fla. 1983) (official charged with maintenance of records may not transfer actual physical custody of records to county attorney and thereby avoid compliance with request for inspection under Ch. 119, F.S.); and AGO 92-78 (public housing authority not authorized to withhold its records from disclosure on the grounds that the records have been subpoenaed by the state attorney and transferred to that office).


In this instance, while copies of the CRA’s emails are backed up daily to the City’s main computer, the original copies of these emails remain in the hard drives of the CRA’s computers, just as they remain in the hard drives of all of the individual computers hooked up to the city’s backup program.


As staff counsel for a public agency subject to the provisions of Florida’s Public Records Laws, Ms. Cabarga has both reason and responsibility to know and understand the provisions of the law, and her efforts to circumvent them in such a flagrant manner clearly represents a violation of her responsibilities as an Officer of the Court.


The pervasive manner in which Florida’s Public Records Law has been undermined in recent years by public officials in the City of Miami who have created private email accounts to evade the provisions of Chapter 119, as well as other examples of abuse including a wholesale denial of the existence of requested public records when their release would prove to be embarrassing or worse to these officials, as in this instance, I believe warrants the Florida Bar stepping up to the plate by sending a strong and unequivocal message to its members that the cornerstone of Florida’s pledge of Open Government rests with the unequivocal and complete adherence to the strict requirements of the Public Records Law.


For this reason I call on you to send that signal by reprimanding Ms. Cabarga for her willful effort to withhold the documents I requested.


If you have any further questions, or require an expanded explanation of the circumstances and/or arguments Ms. Cabarga might use as a defense, please contact me.


Yours truly,



Al Crespo

The Crespo-Gram Report

To look at the exhibits, click on the button below.

EXHIBITSCABARGA_EXHIBITS.html
STUPID LAWYER TRICKS

PISSING OFF THE WEASELS

NOVEMBER 10, 2011

EVERYONE LOVES THE 1ST AMENDMENT, AS LONG AS IT’S THEIR 1ST AMENDMENT, AND NO ONE ELSE’S

In the continuing saga of what passes for “democracy” in the Northern provinces of Cuba, otherwise known as Hialeah, the gang supporting current interim Mayor Carlos Hernandez held a political rally at a city owned  adult community center, and in typical gangster fashion, threw my colleague Elaine de Valle out of the building.


They did IT in the traditional way that gangster thug politicians usually do these things, they had the Chief of Police do the honors.


Like me, Elaine is an acquired taste, but it seems that the taste is beginning to leave a very sour residue as these scummy politicians and their henchmen realize that she and I, along with other folks who have tired of the bullshit in Miami-Dade County are not only going to continue doing what we’re doing, but we’re getting better at it, and are beginning to forge an alliance.


The Miami Herald has a nice story about this incident, as well as some video footage, and you can also read Elaine’s complete post on the incident by going:

ELAINE’S POSThttp://politicalcortadito.blogspot.com/2011/11/ladra-is-battered-by-police-chief.html
HERALD STORYhttp://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/09/2494536/political-cortadito-blogger-cries.html
IF YOU LIKED THIS STUPID LAWYER TRICK, COME BACK NEXT WEEK FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT

NOVEMBER 10, 2011

SHILLING FOR CHEAP RENT

On Monday of this week, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce held what they billed as a “debate” about the proposed destination gambling proposals that were introduced in the Florida legislature this month.


The only problem was that it wasn’t anywhere near a debate, because 6 of the 7 panelists were pro-casino.  It was so bad that even Frank Nero, the head of the Beacon Council was quoted in Miami Today as saying, “The chamber began the dialogue yesterday. It was a shame that it was somewhat lopsided.”


Ouch!


Even when folks like Nero decide that the shit is rising too fast, none of them ever really go that extra step and REALLY reveal what the deals behind the scenes are that impact on how all of these groups who claim to be speaking for the citizens, or the business community or the tourists, or whomever, are more often than not  compromised.


Take the Greater Miami Chamber for instance.


You’ll never read in any of the publications or stories that covered this event that the Chamber has had a real sweetheart deal with the folks who operated the OMNI Center for decades, and that the folks at the Chamber don’t think that they can get comparable office space for anywhere near the pittance they’ve been paying the Omni.


So when the Chamber says that they haven’t made a decision on whether or not they are willing to support the Genting proposal, what they’re really saying is, we need to work out a continuing deal with the Genting folks to keep our cheap office space, and then we’ll be out there with a brass band to support Genting whole-hardly.


Monday’s stacked debate was just a teaser to let Genting know what they’re capable of doing in order to generate support when the time comes.


And you wonder why the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce never speaks up about corruption in Miami?


It’s Miami, Bitches!

GREATER MIAMI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STACKED THE DECK FOR GENTING
CITY OF MIAMI FAILED TO DEPOSIT PAYROLL ON 11/11/11
FRIDAY NIGHT FLASH

For the first time in history, the City of Miami on Friday failed to pay its employees who receive heir paychecks by direct deposit.  Below is a copy of a memo texted to the Crespo-Gram Report late Friday afternoon, from Deputy Fire Chief Reginald Duren notifing the members of the Fire Department about this problem.


    Friday, November 11, 2011  12:16 PM


    To: Fire Rescuse Department (All)

    Subject: Payroll Direct Deposit Issue


    City Payroll has advised that there is an apparent    

    delay in the delivery of funds via direct deposit into

    employee’s accounts at various banking institutions

    including the Miami Firefighters FCU.  They are

    continuing to research the cause of the delay.  City

    Payroll hasadvised the issue will be resolved no

    later than Monday.  November 14, 2011.


    Reginald Duren, Deputy Fire Chief

    Miami, Fl


On Thursday afternoon, I ran into Diana Gomez, former Finance Director at the MRC building, and jokingly asked if she had returned.  She said that no, she had just stopped by, but now in light of this information, it is obvious that Gomez was called back to try and help solve the problem.


This is just but the latest example that Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez and his two assistants Luis Cabrera and Alice Bravo are far too involved in silly, stupid shit to actually understand or know how to manage the city.


Between this troika of nitwits, and the continued requirement of His Ignorance, The Mayor,  that all the top appointments to his administration be political hacks who’s political loyality is of far more important than having the knowledge to actually run their departments, it’s a wonder that  this kind of fuckup didn’t happen before.


Yes sir, cut the employees salaries and benefits, and then for good measure don’t pay them on time.


Yes, there are some who read this who will gloat over the the fat-cat city employees not getting a paycheck, but there are a lot of hard-working city employees making $11,00 and $12,00 an hour and living paycheck to paycheck who are the ones who will be affected by this, and saying, we’re sorry doesn’t cut it.


Somebody ought to be fired for this fuckup, and it should be the people at the top who are paid the big bucks to supervise the Finance Department, and not some peon at the bottom, who will probably get the blame.


And it happened on 11/11/11!  Only in Miami, Bitches!

NOVEMBER 10, 2011