Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are we getting someones attention over at the City of South Miami?

It looks like it!  We stumbled into our City of South Miami mess during the course of our Airways Auto Tag Agency story.  Through a chain of events that I find hard to comprehend, we discovered the story of three tellers at a tag agency owned by the City of South Miami's police chief's wife being accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the agency.  Through the course of our investigation (LOL) we found that the City of South Miami had been doing business with this tag agency that's located well outside of the city's boundaries and coincidentally doing business with the tag agency that the city's police chief has a financial interest in goes against the city's own code of ethics.  From our post a few weeks ago regarding the matter...

(c)Prohibition on transacting business with the city. No person included in the terms defined in paragraphs (b)(1) through (6) and in paragraph (b)(9) shall enter into any contract or transact any business in which that person or a member of the immediate family has a financial interest, direct or indirect with the city or any person or agency acting for the city, and any such contract, agreement or business engagement entered in violation of this subsection shall render the transaction voidable. Willful violation of this subsection shall constitute malfeasance in office and shall effect forfeiture of office or position. 

Ok, so according to the city's own code of ethics, doing city business with a family member or a company that a city employee has a financial interest in is strictly prohibited, as a matter of fact the code of ethics states that the punishment for someone caught doing so is termination...
Willful violation of this subsection shall constitute malfeasance in office and shall effect forfeiture of office or position.  
Last night we learned that City of South Miami's City Manager, Hector Mirabile, sent out an office memorandum on April 3, 2012 that specifically mentioned this issue of the city doing business with family members, it's buried on page 4 under "related parties transaction"...
"A "Related Parties Transaction" form was developed for inclusion to the Vendor Registration process.  Vendors registering with the City must affirm their company or principals do not violate the City's code of Ethics as defined in Section 8A-1.  Completion of the form confirms that no employees, directors or officers of the vendor are related to any City personnel.  The form is under review by the City attorney."
Ok, this new form seems to address this "related parties transaction" issue going forward, but what about what's happened in the past?  Are we to believe that the City's police chief had no idea that work was being steered towards his wife's business?  I find that hard to believe.  On the other hand, I know for a fact that the city just cant randomly start doing business with anyone they'd like, I'm sure there's a process in place where the vendor has to get approved before the city starts doing business with them, once again, are we to believe that the chief, Orlando Martinez de Castro, had no idea that the city was doing business with his wife's tag agency?  Regardless, we know that the punishment for such behavior according to the City's own code of ethics is crystal clear...
Willful violation of this subsection shall constitute malfeasance in office and shall effect forfeiture of office or position.  
I wonder what's going to happen?  I can tell you this much though, it's obvious all our blabbering about this issue has caught someones attention over at the City of South Miami's city hall, I also know for a fact that the folks over at the Miami Dade Ethics Commission are looking into what's going on as well.   

It looks like it's time to start shooting out some public information requests to see what we can find out about this cozy relationship between the City of South Miami and the police chief's family business.  Rest assured, that this is only the tip of the iceberg, considering how the three tellers were railroaded with these bullshit trumped up charges of theft, I can only imagine what we're going to find once we start digging...


  1. Mike, then you need to start digging deeper. You have done a hell of a job with this investigation. Are you sure you were never a police officer becuasuse you got som great skills. I love it. You are the greatest....

  2. Ethics Commission is just a formality Nothing to see here go on about your business.
    Slap on the hand repeat offender typical M O City of South Miami.
    miami dade county office of the inspector general now lets see what happens.

  3. mike you are amazing i have to tell you that you will be a super star once you brake this case

  4. Mike has been a SUPER STAR since he started this blog.

    ARTICLE II (Cont’d)
    SECTION 9. Investigations
    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Charter, the Commission or its authorized representative or representatives may make investigation into the affairs of this City and the conduct of any City department, Board, Officer or Agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence. Any person who
    fails to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the Commission shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00 or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.