SEPTEMBER 26  - SEPTEMBER 30

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A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE
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KIDDIES GET TO WATCH THE GROWNUPS ACT STUPID
ARTS & MINDS BOARD DISPLAYS IGNORANCE AND ARROGANCE

There’s nothing like watching authority figures act like ignorant assholes to underscore the proposition that every once in a while the inmates deserve to take over the asylum, if for no other reason than just to restore some sense of balance in the universe.


At Manny Alonso Poch’s Arts & Minds Academy, it’s not the inmates, but a collection of irate parents who decided that allowing Poch and his collection of asshole Governing Board members to continue to have unsupervised freedom to “educate” their children will no longer be tolerated and/or allowed.


Parents now show up for the monthly Governing Board meetings, and bring video cameras.  At the end of these “meetings,” they post portions, or all of the meetings, on YOU TUBE for all - including the kiddies - to see.


The Crespo-Gram Report, always a beacon for openness and transparency, is pleased - well maybe that’s not the best word - to provide our readers with a portion of the meeting held last week the day before we published our story about the letter of Non-Compliance that the school received for charging illegal activity fees.


Alas, the meeting did not go well.  Ms. Ruth Montaner, the Board’s Chairwoman, was the first to stand up and walk out. She seemed to get upset over questions about a gentleman who hasn’t been in the country for the last 6 years, yet who is supposedly listed as a Governing Board member of the Academy.


Understand that it’s Miami-Dade taxpayer money that is being given to this collection of assholes and nitwits to run this Charter School, so everyone who reads this and pays property taxes has skin in this game.


This is, for all intents and purposes a public institution, and that’s the reason I continue to write about Manny Alonso Poch and this school.


When you read or hear about all the wonderful things associated with Charter Schools, you also have to remember that with a little exploration, odds are that you’d find other examples of Charter Schools being run just like this one.   The only difference is that this school has a group of concerned parents who are, “MAD AS HELL AND AREN’T GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011

WHAT’S UP WITH THE
SEC
INVESTIGATION?

Those madcap folks over at the SEC - you know the folks who did such a great job in keeping track of Bernie Madoff after they were warned about his Ponzi scheme - have been investigating for a long time now the little hanky-panky scheme involving the illegal transfer of $20 million plus in restricted funds into the city’s General Fund in order to hide budget shortfalls. 


Months ago word leaked out that they were close to ending their investigation, and now as we’ve gone from Spring to Summer to Fall, and nothing seems to have happened.


We know there are inquiring minds out there who’d like to know what’s happened with this investigation, but that requires the local news media to get their heads out of their asses and start asking questions about this and a number of other issues that continually get swept under the rug by the Regalado gang.


It’s true that in recent months some folks in the local media have started paying attention to what’s happening inside City Hall, but every week new documents, new allegations and the accumulation of new stories continue to accrue, and in the process the weight of all of these unreported and ignored stories continues to push them further down into the muck, and away from prying eyes.


Wake up folks. Just one reporter with gumption and a little shoe leather could probably win a Pulitzer or an Emmy by reporting on even a portion of these stories.


Just remember to keep your weenie in your pants or your legs crossed, your eye on the prize and remember that as a reporter you’re responsibility is to the reader and not to the politicians you write about. Stick to those rules and you could become the next Woodward or Bernstein.


But for now, will someone find out what’s happened to the SEC investigation?

WHAT’S UP WITH THIS
ZAYON’S CRANKING OUT 
TV COMMERCIALS ON 
THE TAXPAYER’S DIME

It was only a matter of time before The Idiot Of The City, Angel Zayon, would decide to turn the city’s Communications Department into his private little production company churning out TV commercials.


The above TV spot, although mentioning the good works of providing haircuts for “underprivileged mothers and children” a minute and eighteen seconds into this spot does not erase the fact that this is nothing other than a TV commercial using a Frank Novel of the Communications Department as the announcer, and the Mayor as a prop. 


In no way is this a public service announcement, or any other kind of community news that would justify using city resources and personnel.


With all the problems besetting the city, not to mention his own pending legal problems, It’s pretty revealing of the level of control that Zayon has over His Ignorance, that the Mayor of Miami would allow himself to be plopped in a barber chair like a $100 movie extra for this kind of nonsense.


The production costs and posting on the City’s website, along with I suspect the broadcasting of this TV spot on Channel 77 is just another indication that Zayon and the rest of these make-believe thugs have decided that the city’s resources are their’s to use and abuse as they see fit.


On a personal note, I wonder if this is where Angel got that new spiky haircut that makes him look like a Lesbian in heat.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011

We anticipated that Angel Zayon would remove the TV commercial from the City’s website, so we made our own copy - it is after all a public record - and we had it ready to load-up once Zayon showed his ass.  So, even though you can’t see this taxpayer financed TV commercial on the city’s website, you can see it below.  Just another sign of how sleazy and underhanded these make-believe thugs are.

IF YOU LIVE IN THE CITY OF MIAMI AND ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FAILURE OF THE REGALADO ADMINISTRATION TO PROVIDE ANY BUDGET INFORMATION BEFORE THE CITY COMMISSION VOTES ON A BUDGET AS REQUIRED BY LAW, YOU NEED TO READ WHAT INVESTIGATION MIAMI WROTE TODAY, AND THEN YOU NEED TO CALL THE CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND GET KNEE DEEP IN HER ASS.

INVESTIGATION MIAMI

CITY ATTORNEY’S NUMBER:
305.416.1800http://investigationmiami.blogspot.com/shapeimage_11_link_0

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011

SEPTEMBER 26, 2011

HEAR THE HANDCUFFS JINGLING
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

In the strongest signal yet that His Ignorance, Mayor Tomas Regalado is close to being arrested, his criminal defense lawyer Jose Quinon, today gave an interview to El Nuevo Herald, which is featured on the website. The English version is now on the Miami Herald.


You can always make book that when a criminal defense lawyer trots out to try and spin the news media, his client is on a countdown to visit a jail without passing GO.


As I previously reported, look for the arrest to come anytime from today to November 2nd, although I suspect that we’re still about a week or so away from the countdown clock really starting to tick.


The reason for my prediction is actually very simple:  The statute of limitations for election related crimes is 2 years, and that means that after November 3rd, Regalado would skate away Scott free.


In addition to Regalado taking a fall, his daughter Raquelita could also find herself in handcuffs for her part in the multiple violations that occurred in Daddy’s campaign.  Raquelita was the campaign treasurer, and as the treasurer, she bears a great deal of the responsibility for the records being so screwed up.


There is a possibility that on top of all the other charges she might also be tagged for allowing her signature to be forged on some of the campaign reports.

Hand writing analysis is a funny business, so we won’t find out whether this becomes a charge until experts can collect enough versions of her handwriting to match them against the campaign reports.


Of course, the big thing, as anyone who’s ever watched a television series about cops and robbers knows, is that Raquelita is the weak link by which law enforcement could force Daddy to cop a plea and walk away from City Hall.


THE KATHERINE FERNANDEZ-RUNDLE PROBLEM


I believe that the biggest problem that has held up the arrest of Regalado before now has been Miami-Dade State Attorney, Katherine “The Queen Of Swag” Fernandez-Rundle.


The Crespo-Gram Report has written in the past of how all of the campaign related evidence was presented to Rundle’s then head of Public Corruption, Joe Centerino, back in January of this year, and how there were several meetings between the individual who had collected this information and members of Centerino’s Public Corruption’s Unit, along with representatives of the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission.


That was back in January, and from the beginning, Centerino and his people dragged their feet refusing to take the steps needed to bring these allegations to any sort of conclusion.


It was only the persistence of this one individual and the breaking of the story on the blogsphere by Investigation Miami, that finally resulted in any attention being focused on this case.


Now, with only weeks left before the statute of limitations runs out, Fernandez-Rundle, in a move supposedly intended to “remain the leader in Florida’s fight against public corruption,” transferred out the Public Corruption prosecutors who might have had any first hand knowledge of this investigation for a group of new prosecutors who will have to get up to speed in days, not weeks.


The list of reasons of why Katherine Fernandez-Rundle should recuse herself from any participation in anything having to do with the City of Miami, and especially the Mayor and any of the City Commissioners starts with the illegal decision by the Miami City Commission earlier this year to name a portion of NW 12th Avenue in her name.


That whole process, including the ignoring of the 4/5th vote requirement for naming city streets for people who are still alive, along with continued allegations that she conspired with Tomas Regalado to keep Michelle Spence-Jones from returning to her City Commission seat LONG AFTER the decision had been made to dismiss the charges against her, would in any American city not only be grounds for an automatic recusal, but would be grounds for the State’s Attorney General to launch an investigation into whether to remove the State Attorney in question.


But we live in Miami, where someone like Rundle prances around accepting gifts and swag like some third-rate functionary in some butt-fuck, Banana Republic.


Tomas Regalado is the most corrupt Mayor in a town famously known for having corrupt politicians, and his daughter Raquelita - who I actually have some sympathy for because she is clearly under the sway of her corrupt father, was dragged into the deep end of the pool by being forced into becoming the publicly identified Treasurer of his campaign, although given her inability to manage her own campaign finances, I would not reject any revelations that pointed to other people actually doing the Treasurer’s job. For being Daddy’s girl she now is in jeopardy of getting tagged along with Daddy for criminal behavior, which could cost her her law license.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTERWARDS?


That’s a question that I’m sure folks in City Hall have been trying to plot out since it became apparent that Regalado was indeed going to get arrested one way or another. 


If Regalado gets tagged with any felonies - and while the focus is on the election reports, don’t forget that $200,000 check offered to Chief of Police Exposito, and what the wire he wore to the meeting might have revealed - he will automatically be removed from office by the Governor.


At that point, all the loony tunes and crazies will come out of the woodwork, and Miami City Hall will definitely look like the Circus Big Top with all the clowns running in and out.


The absolute best thing that could happen would be for the Governor to bypass all of the City Commissioners and appoint someone like Merritt Stierheim to come in as acting Mayor, and hope that he would not only take the job, but more importantly try and clear out all of the Regalado cronies as a first step to trying to bring some stability and financial reality to the city.


The sad part of all of this is that there is no shinning knight on horseback waiting to ride in and really clean house like Miami desperately needs. 


Several of the City Commissioners like Marc Sarnoff and Willie Gort are as corrupt - if not more so than Regalado - and the other three, Francis Suarez, Frank Carollo and Michelle Spence-Jones are either not up to the task, or lacking in some of the skills most needed for a white knight in this time of crisis.


But any day that represents one less day of having His Ignorance as the Mayor of Miami is a good day, and thanks to Jose Quinon, he confirmed that today was indeed a good day.

WHEN A DEFENSE LAWYER DOES AN INTERVIEW TO 
SPIN THE STORY 
THE TIME IS NIGH

SEPTEMBER 29, 2011

A CRESPO-GRAM EXCLUSIVE
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JUSTICE IS NEVER BLIND

THE EMAILS THAT REVEAL

HOW POLITICS WERE PLAYED IN THE DROPPING OF THE CHARGES AGAINST MICHELLE SPENCE-JONES

I have written a lot over the last year about the politicizing of justice under the reign of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.


There are those who have taken me to task claiming that I was trafficking in gossip and innuendo and that I should quit unless I was able to provide real evidence.


Well, that day has come!  Under a public records request made several weeks ago and complied with on September 26th, I asked for, and received what I have been led to believe were ALL the email exchanges between Fernandez-Rundle, her prosecutors Richard Scruggs, Don Horn, Jose Arrojo and Michelle Spence-Jones’ attorneys Peter Raben and  George Knox.


The emails span the period from the day after her acquittal in her first case, until the day after the charges were dropped in August. 


Michelle Spence-Jones was acquitted of bribery on March 17th, and the emails that I received start on June 10th.


The first email - by date - is a June 10th exchange between Peter Raben, Spence-Jones’ attorney and Katherine Fernandez-Rundle and her Deputy Jose Arrojo, and addresses concerns about “the political effect of a dismissal” of the charges against Spence-Jones.


From this email it becomes evident that from the very beginning, a primary concern of Katherine Fernandez-Rundle was not about the application of justice - she hadn’t expressed any similar “political” concerns about the impact that Spence-Jones’ arrest would have on the City of Miami - but rather on a concern about the impact of what dismissing the remaining charges would have on the Reverend Commissioner Dunn.


The email also reveals Spence-Jones willingness to forgo an immediate return to her seat on the City Commission by agreeing to work out a 60 day transition with Dunn.


NOTE:  Because of the way that emails threads are created, I have included a handful of emails that I have included as part of this story.  Larger versions can be read by clicking on any of these emails. At the bottom of this post, I have also included a PDF copy of all of the emails as I received them.

The bottom highlighted portion reveals that Spence-Jones’ lawyers wanted to have the case dismissed at the Status Hearing on June 15th, with a 60 day transition. I myself wrote about the possibility of that happening on the morning of June 15th.


The case was not dismissed, and shortly thereafter I received word that Fernandez-Rundle was playing politics with this because Mayor Tomas Regalado was trying to keep the Reverend Commission Dunn in the Commission seat as long as possible.


He had several reasons for doing this. First, Dunn had become a reliable vote, secondly, Regalado could depend on Dunn to be his mouth-piece in his continuing fight against Police Chief Exposito, and thirdly keeping Spence-Jones from returning was a way to have some control over Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff, who it was felt would be her principal target whenever she returned.


There was a lull in the email traffic until the end of July, when George Knox, one of Spence-Jones’ lawyers wrote to Fernandez-Rundle, revealing for the first time that a tentative date of September 1st was chosen as the date when Spence-Jones wanted to return to the City Commission.

On August 16th, citing the email above, Know wrote to Fernandez-Rundle again, this time questioning her commitment to the deal, and raising the possibility that he was being played out of pocket.

On August 17th, Fernandez-Rundle responded, and attempted to change the date of the Status Hearing from the previously agreed date of August 24th, to “the first week in September.”


This is critical since by the 17th, it was already known that City Manager Johnny Martinez was ready to suspend Police Chief Exposito, and that he had planned to do it on the 15th, but had been thwarted because Exposito was on vacation, and because Commissioner Sarnoff had supposedly threatened to go to court and get an injunction if the decision to move against the Chief was not pushed back until the beginning of September.


Notice how she segueways from “September 1, 2011 or the first week in September.”

Peter Raben, Spence-Jones lead attorney, responded to Fernandez-Rundle in less than an hour, pointing out that they had set a court date of August 24th based on the impression that they had reached a deal that Spence-Jones would be back at City Hall by September 1st.

On the 22nd, Fernandez-Rundle was still pitching to push the Status Hearing back.  August 22nd was also the day when I posted a story about the Chief’s impending suspension, and revealed the behind the scenes action that I had been provided by my sources about Fernandez-Rundle efforts.  Here’s a portion of what I wrote:


   In light of all that has transpired since, one has to

    question just how much of that battle was staged

    by Fernandez-Rundle as a way provide support for

    Regalado.


    I raise this possibility because of Fernandez-Rundle’s

    behind the scenes involvement in stalling the inevitable

    dismissal of charges against Michelle Spence-Jones

    has begun to leak out of the State Attorney’s Office

    like a water pouring out of a leaky boot. 


    The allegation is that Fernandez-Rundle has willfully

     been stalling signing off on dismissing the charges

    because the return of Spence-Jones would not only

    tip the voting balance on the Commission in the vote

     to oust the Chief, but would also give several of the

    Commissioners and Regalado himself a year and a

     half case of severe heartburn.”


The email below, and the others that follow from this point on, reflect that I was spot on in my analysis of what was happening behind the scenes.

At 5:00 PM, in one last effort to change the date from the 24th, to another date in September, Chief Prosecutor Richard Scruggs wrote to Raben, and made the following claim:


        “Accordingly, it is important to us to reschedule the

        status hearing for a short period of time to allow us

        to finalize an appropriate resolution of the case in

        the interests of keeping our conservations on track...”

Thirteen minutes later, Raben responded with a forceful response that finally persuaded the SAO’s office to honor their agreement and dismiss the charges on August 24th.

PDF OF ALL THE EMAILS

And so, it came to pass that Michelle Spence-Jones returned to her seat on the Miami City-Commission on August 31st, one day ahead of the schedule that had first been agreed to in July.


IN CONCLUSION


All of the plotting and scheming by Katherine Fernandez-Rundle in an effort to try and keep Spence-Jones from being one of the Commissioners who would vote on whether to fire the Chief of Police, for fear that she would vote to keep him, in the end came for naught.


The letter of suspension was not served on the Chief until September 6th, and in the end, for whatever her reasons, Spence-Jones voted the way that the smart money had predicted she would vote when it was announced that she would be returning to City Hall. Her’s was one of the three votes that upheld the Chief’s firing.


When it comes to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle however, it is abundantly clear from these emails, matched against the contemporaneous actions taking place at Miami City Hall, that she was actively engaged in trying to keep Spence-Jones away from being part of the Commission on the vote on the Police Chief’s firing, either out of her personal animosity against the Chief as exhibited in the rancorous exchanges they had had this year, or because she was acting on behalf of Tomas Regalado and others who felt that the Reverend Commissioner Dunn’s often repeated claims that he wanted the Chief removed constituted a “safe” vote they did not want to jeopardize.


This is not the kind of “justice” that people in this country, nor this community expect.  If someone is accused of a crime, they are charged, they are tried, and if found guilty, they pay the penalty.


If they are found innocent, or if the charges against them cannot be supported, then they are dropped.  Dropped sooner than later, without concern for the “political” circus at City Hall, or by foot dragging for obvious political reasons.


I have written about Katherine Fernandez-Rundle’s behavior in collecting gifts and swag, which in itself is shameful behavior for the Chief law enforcement officer in this community.


That she would also behave so openly in an effort to influence a critical vote by the Miami City Commission by attempting to stall the dismissal of charges on a crime that she and her prosecutors had agreed for months they could not sustain, I believe warrants an independent investigation by a State-Wide Prosecutor, and more importantly should automatically disqualify her from any further involvement in any open or pending investigations having to do with Mayor Tomas Regalado or any other  City of Miami elected official or employee.


It’s time for Katherine Fernandez-Rundle to recuse herself for the sake of justice and fair play in this community!

SPENCE-JONES_EMAILS.html
SPENCE-JONES_EMAILS.html
SPENCE-JONES_EMAILS.html

MY SCHEDULE HAS GONE OFF KILTER THIS WEEK, AND THIS STORY SHOULD HAVE BEEN UP LAST NIGHT.  BECAUSE OF ITS IMPORTANCE, I’M GOING TO LEAVE IT UP TILL SUNDAY NIGHT, AND I WILL START POSTING ON MY REGULAR SCHEDULE THEN.


PLUS, I NEED A COUPLE DAYS OFF. 


IF SOMETHING BREAKS HOWEVER, I’LL BE ALL OVER IT!


IF YOU GOT A HOT TIP - OR DOCUMENTS - SEND THEM TO  al@alcrespo.net

AND THE FINE IS
MIAMI-DADE ELECTIONS DEPARTMENT: YOU OWE US $3,526,28

In a largely anti-climatic gesture, the Miami-Dade Elections Board sent Raquel Regalado a letter on Monday informing her that she owes a fine of $3,526.28, for her failure to file her timely closeout campaign report.


Raquelita, who became the subject of posts on this website and several blogs about her tardiness in complying with the campaign laws, waited 301 days before finally complying, can now either accept the fine, pay it and move on, or she can appeal it to the Florida Ethics Commission.


Given the problems she faces as the Treasurer of her father’s campaign for Mayor in 2009, that is now the subject of a criminal investigation expected to lead to charges of some kind being filed within days, if not weeks, the odds are that she will pay the fine and we will see if arrest warrants are issued  in her father’s case, she gets tagged along with him for any number of serious campaign violations.

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

SEPTEMBER 28, 2011