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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

MARCH 15, 2012

SPECIAL TREATMENT
FERNANDEZ-RUNDLE AND JOE CENTERINO
GIVE THE REGALADO’S A REACH AROUND

Yesterday, after months of hemming and hawing, the announcement was made that The Mayor and his daughter were going to be fined by the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission, a total of $10,000 for campaign related violations.


If this were the Mayor’s first campaign, then that fine would have been sufficient.  However, this wasn’t the Mayor’s first, second, third, fourth or fifth campaign for public office, and the notion that after almost 17 years as an elected official he still hadn’t mastered the requirements of paying attention to his campaign reports is indicative of both his ignorance and the wishy-washy way in which these fines were leveled.


It was after all, only last week I received the final Settlement Order over Regalado’s failure to report his assets as part of his annual financial report, for which he agreed to pay the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission a $1000 fine.


Raquelita, late last year was forced to pay $3526.28, for her own campaign financial report problems.


In legal terms, this means that neither of these 2 individuals is a First Offender. That alone should have required that their fines be doubled.


But even that possibility was too much for the State Attorney and the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission to consider.


In the press release issued by the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission yesterday, the explanation on why the decision was made to only limit the actions to a civil fine were explained in this manner.


        “This has been looked at by several agencies, including

        our auditor, and we concluded that there were serious

        deficiencies when it came to accounting for contributions

        in the final report,” said Ethics Commission Executive

        Director Joseph Centorino.   “However, we found no

        evidence of theft of funds and this is the appropriate

        means of settling that type of offense.“  Centorino added,

        “It is important for all parties to realize that in any campaign,

        the candidate and the treasurer are ultimately responsible

        for the financial reports.”   


Once again, the claims made by the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission does not match up with what the law says.


Here is the appropriate portion of Florida Statute 106.


106.19 Violations by candidates, persons connected with campaigns, and political committees.—


  1. (1)Any candidate; campaign manager, campaign treasurer, or deputy treasurer of any candidate; committee chair, vice chair, campaign treasurer, deputy treasurer, or other officer of any political committee; agent or person acting on behalf of any candidate or political committee; or other person who knowingly and willfully:


  1. (a)Accepts a contribution in excess of the limits prescribed by s. 106.08;


  1. (b)Fails to report any contribution required to be reported by this chapter;


  1. (c)Falsely reports or deliberately fails to include any information required by this chapter; or


  1. (d)Makes or authorizes any expenditure in violation of s. 106.11(4) or any other expenditure prohibited by this chapter;


is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Any candidate, campaign treasurer, or deputy treasurer; any chair, vice chair, or other officer of any political committee; any agent or person acting on behalf of any candidate or political committee; or any other person who violates paragraph (1)(a), paragraph (1)(b), or paragraph (1)(d) shall be subject to a civil penalty equal to three times the amount involved in the illegal act. Such penalty may be in addition to the penalties provided by subsection (1) and shall be paid into the General Revenue Fund of this state.


NO WHERE in this statute does it require as a precondition that there had to have been a “theft of funds,” in order to charge Regalado and his daughter with a misdemeanor.


In fact, the law is very clear.  The crime is in making the false reports!


In fact, the whole notion of requiring that there needed to be a “theft of funds” trigger for a misdemeanor charge to be leveled is all bullshit, because if there had been a theft of funds, that would have constituted a separate crime, called “Theft”!


So yes, once again the protectors of Truth, Justice and the American Way have demonstrated that when it comes to looking out for a pal, they will Lie, Ignore The Law, and behave like this is a Banana Republic.


Welcome to Miami, Bitches!

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