By now I'm sure that the whole nation has heard about the successful recall of both Miami Dade County Mayor, Carlos Alvarez and veteran county commissioner Natacha Sejas. There are several news outlets that have done a great job covering the problems that led up to the recall of the Mayor over the last few weeks, I'd like to remind our readers of some of the mayor's misdeeds that weren't covered. We've all heard about the record pay increases for county employees as well as the 12% property tax increase despite the worst economic downturn in recent history but does anyone remember how Alvarez and his cronies looted the federal trust fund set aside for investigating and prosecuting environmental crimes? In case you forgot...
- Hybrid SUV's for the MDPD top brass $900,000
- Camper $8,000
- Travel expenses $180,000
- DirecTV subscriptions $10,000
- 30 Smith and Wesson assault rifles $20,000
- High powered rifle scopes $15,000
- 440 shirts purchased in two batches in February and May 2009. The ``Bureau Cubaveras,'' which came in colors from black to khaki, cost $13,150
- Six flat screen TVs -- three Sharp 52-inch HDTV costing $1,986 apiece and three 32-inch units at $734 each.
- More than 125 computers costing $173,296, including 107 Dell desktops and pricey laptops like Panasonic Toughbooks costing nearly $3,000 each. BTW, Miami-Dade police could not say where the computers are or who they were issued to. An internal county police investigation is under way to locate the items.
- More than $30,000 for 30 banquet tables and 152 chairs, two high pressure 24-inch misting fans ($2,169.93 each), two portable air conditioning units ($2,606 each) and tents.
- A Gmax II 5900 Airless Paint Sprayer for $3,802 and a RTX900 Texture Sprayer for $790.50. Both were requested to help with ``cleaning and restoring preserves, monuments and historical sites in Miami-Dade County.'
How about the members of the mayors inner circle? Remember MDPD police commander Frank Vecin that not only busted out the federal environmental trust fund but was then caught working at a second job while on county time making an extra $2,500 to $50,000 per month! Let's not forget former MDPD chief legal council and mortgage fraud task force chairman Glenn Theobald who was forced to retire because of his involvement with the misappropriation of funds from the environmental trust fund.
If all that wasn't bad enough, add in the billion dollar port tunnel that nobody wants, the multi billion dollar Marlin's stadium that wasn't necessary considering our current economic climate and the horrific and poorly timed BMW purchase by the mayor.
Don't even get me started on the Mayor's heralded Mortgage Fraud task force that couldn't investigate it's way out of a wet paper bag.
What's sickening is that despite the recall allegations of wrongdoing and public humiliation, Alvarez and all his ex command staff cronies get to sail off into the sunset with their massive pensions and lifetime benefits intact. Oh well. Congratulations to the voters of Miami Dade county that had enough of these corrupt career politicians.
On another note, closing arguments are expected today in the bribery trial of suspended City of Miami commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones. Anyone wanna bet on the outcome of that trial?