Several months ago the Miami Dade Ethics Commission sent out a press release stating that they were going to move forward with a public hearing into the alleged ethics violations committed by City of South Miami police chief Orlando Martinez de Castro. In case you missed it, here it is again...
Police Chief faces ethics violations
The police chief of South Miami is facing four charges of violating ethics laws for steering city business to his wife’s companies. The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE) today found probable cause that Chief Orlando Martinez de Castro violated South Miami’s “prohibition on transacting business with the city,” as well the County Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance’s “prohibition on exploitation of official position.” The complaint against Martinez de Castro (C 12-31) cites three times during 2011when the South Miami Police Department contracted with Airways Auto Tag Agency for tags and titles for forfeiture vehicles. Airways is owned by Ileana Martinez de Castro, the police chief’s wife. She also owns Beck & Lo’s Insurance Agency, Inc. Last April, Chief de Castro used his city e-mail account to solicit business for his wife’s agency. The case will proceed to a public hearing.
Shortly after the press release, our sources from within the ethics commission told us that the case was going to proceed to a public hearing at some point during January 2013. Well, guess what? Here we are smack dab in the middle of January 2013 and I haven't heard word about an ethics commission hearing regarding the police chief. WTF is that about?
In fact, to add insult to injury, last Friday I was told that the hearing has been postponed till some time this summer! HUH?
How the hell could that be? From our standpoint, this seemed like a slam dunk, open and shut case, what in the hell is Joe Centerino and his cohorts on the ethics commission thinking about? Isn't it amazing how quickly the ethics commission acts with certain politicians and how they drag their feet with others? Could the ethics commission's decision to postpone the hearing have anything to do with embattled City of South Miami police chief Orlando Martinez de Castro's relationship with Centorino's former boss and state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle? Who knows, at the very least, this is a disappointing turn for Centorino's commission and possibly just another example of how when it comes to "let em go Joe" nothing has changed.
We'll drop the Ethics Commission an email and see what they have to say.