(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.
Fair enough. Shortly after we reported on this ethical lapse, City of South Miami City Manager, Hector Mirabile, sends out an interoffice memo that speaks directly to the "related parties 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, so it's fairly obvious that our findings have gotten the attention of the folks over at City Hall.
Just a few days later our story gets the attention of the Miami Herald. Several city officials, including the city manager, go on the record and claim that the police chief nor anyone else within the city had any idea that the city was doing business with the police chief's wife's company. Fantastic right? That is until we get the email that we posted on Monday, in case you missed it, here it is again...
I worked at Airways Auto Tag Agency for several years, and in one occasion I processed transactions for the City of South Miami. At the time of these transactions three individuals from the city actually came in to the office to perform these transactions. They introduced themselves as being coworkers that were refered by Orlando Martinez De Castro husband of Ileana Martinez De Castro and also chief of City of South Miami. Before coming to the office a quote for the amount of the transactions was issued to the individuals representing the City of South Miami, and about a week later that individuals came to the office to process those transactions. Those transactions were paid with a check from The City of South Miami for the amount of the quote.
After receiving this email, I contacted the person who sent it to me and set up a meeting. Needless to say, I met with the person who sent me the email and went over the story again and again. Rest assured, they were able to identify the three people from the city that came over from the tag agency, their interaction both on the phone and in person. I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of their story as it was backed up by other eyewitnesses that I was able to find that were familiar with the transactions in question. The icing on the cake? Everyone I spoke to regarding these transactions are willing to cooperate and give sworn statements to any agency that may be investigating this case.
So now what? What about the "no on knew what was going on" statements the city officials gave the Herald? What about the city manager, Hector Mirabile, assertions of the chief not knowing the city using his wife's tag agency? Bullshit, that's what. The chief knew exactly what was going on as did the city manager and everyone else involved. What began as a simple ethical lapse has now turned into a full blown cover up orchestrated at the highest levels of the City of South Miami government and not just because someone has stepped forward saying so, there's more evidence coming in that's going to further bolster my claims, we'll hold back on posting these documents so we can watch everyone involved dig themselves deeper and deeper into the hole they've created.
Now, for those of you who have any hope that Joe Centorino's ethics commission will do anything about the goings on in South Miami, take a look at our friend Al Crespo's site and see how Mr. Centorino and friends screwed up the investigation into the Regalado's campaign finance case.