Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ho, ho, NO!

Our friend and fellow blogger Al Crespo did a bang up job as usual covering our state attorney, Katherine Fernandez Rundle's yearly SAO christmas party.  Al even went through the trouble of getting a copy of the invite list.  At first glance it doesn't seem like much, a proverbial who's who of the politicians, judges, cops, prominant lawyers, etc of Miami Dade county.  Take a look at the list here:

One of our readers pointed out that upon closer examination, you'll realize that Ms. Rundle has invited certain Mayor's from Miami Dade's various cities, but not others.  Most notably, among the mayors of Coral Gables, Doral, etc, Ms Rundle had invited federally indicted former mayor of the City of Sweetwater, Manny Marono as outlined in red...

On the other hand, Ms. Rundle had invited various members of the law enforcement community, both current and past, for example, she's invited the former chief of police of the City of Sweetwater, Roberto Fulgueira...

No problem there, but it's interesting to note that she's invited former Sweetwater police chief Fulgueira yet somehow she's forgotten to invite former City of South Miami police chief and alleged family friend Orlando Martinez de Castro?  Whatever.

Interesting, perhaps it's nothing more than a simple mistake by a lowly assistant who simply cut and paste last years party invite list, or maybe not!  With that said folks, have a happy holiday, till next time, be safe.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

That press conference in Doral we talked about yesterday...

So it wasn't Doral city manager, Joe Carollo, giving a press conference regarding the state attorneys office dropping the charges against a Venezuelan business man accused of filing a police report yesterday, instead it was City of Doral police chief Richard Blom who gave the press conference.  From the Herald article...
Doral police chief says department will continue to pursue false-report cases
By Joey Flechas
The Miami Herald 
Two days after the State Attorney’s Office dropped charges against two men accused of filing a false police report in Doral, the city’s police chief said his department will continue to take such cases seriously. 
In a news conference held at Doral police headquarers, Chief Richard Blom said he didn’t want residents to get the message that people can get away with lying to police and wasting investigators’ time with false claims. 
“We’re bound by the statutes to enforce this,” he told reporters Wednesday. “I think it’s a serious offense. I and the police department of Doral are going to continue to aggressively look at these cases and send them to the State Attorney.” 
He cited a move by the Florida Legislature this year to up the seriousness of the crime for repeat offenders in these types of cases. As of Oct 1., those who have already been convicted of giving a false report to law enforcement will be charged with a third-degree felony if they do it again. 
“If we don’t prosecute these guys here, there’ll never be convicted of the offense, and it’ll never be a felony,” Blom said. 
Juan Carlos Tovar Barrios, a Venezuelan developer, and his employee, Javier Bellon, were accused of lying to police when they accused Doral City Manager Joe Carollo of physically and verbally accosting Tovar during a City Council meeting in September. Bellon had told police he had witnessed the altercation. 
The council had just given the go-ahead to a controversial development project owned by Tovar called IVI Doral. The project had intially been partly owned by the adult children of Doral Mayor Luigi Boria. Boria had given his children millions to buy their share of the land.
Later on, in sworn statements to police, Tovar and Bellon gave conflicting stories after a surveillance video came to light that showed no physical altercation between Tovar and Carollo. 
Ed Griffith, spokesman for State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, pointed to the closeout memo filed last weekend by special prosecutor Johnette Hardiman when saying his office applies the same standards to every case. 
“Every case stands or falls on the sufficiency of the evidence in the case,” he said in an interview Wednesday. 
According to the memo, the case had to be dismissed in order “to treat these civilians as we would any other civilians similarly situated.” Hardiman also wrote: “Had the city manager not been involved, the case would not have been given the scrutiny and intense police work that it was given.” 
Hardiman also noted that Doral police intially recorded the allegations against Carollo in the form of an “incident report” and not as a criminal-battery case. 
“The original intent was simply to document an incident,” she wrote. 
Blom said Doral police faced another recent case where a resident admitted to lying to police during an investigation into a traffic accident. According to a Doral police memo, Hardiman dccided not to file charges in that case, as well. 
Blom said the department won’t tolerate false reports, and he cited news reports of police departments in other states arresting individuals for making false statements to police.
For example, 28-year-old Timothy Daniel was arrested in November in Savannah, Ga., after police say he lied about being assaulted, robbed at gunpoint, and tied up in his home in September. Authorities concluded tha Daniel had been dishonest after a two-month investigation. 
Doral police Captain Joe Seiglie added that the department loses man hours that could be dedicated to real investigations. 
“That’s a cost to taxpayers,” he said.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/19/v-print/3827010/doral-police-chief-says-department.html#storylink=cpy
Blah, blah, blah.  While I applaud the Herald for actually covering the story, why is there no mention of the fact that the state attorneys office actually gave the go ahead for the arrest before Mr. Tovar was arrested?  Whatever the fuck ever.  Just another example of those who are politically connected taking advantage of the friends and family plan over at the state attorneys office, in the mean time, feel free to file false police reports!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The state attorneys office drops charges against Doral Mayor's business partner.

The Miami Herald does a good enough job explaining the whole story here.  Here are a few salient points that I feel are worth highlighting...
In the memorandum addressed to chief assistant state attorney José Arrojo, Hardiman explained that the case had to be dismissed in order to “treat these civilians as we would any other civilians similarly situated.”
She added: “Had the city manager not been involved, the case would not have been given the scrutiny and intense police work that it was given.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/16/v-print/3822881/no-charges-in-city-hall-fracas.html#storylink=cpy
I guess that's possible...
In a phone interview late Monday, Hardiman said that she also took into account the fact that Doral police initially documented Tovar’s allegations against Carollo as an “incident report,” and not as a criminal battery case that needed to be investigated.
HUH?  So the case got dismissed because the police documented the allegations against Carollo as an incident report rather than as a criminal case?  WTF?  What kind of bullshit excuse is that?
Carollo said he disagreed with the reasoning and referenced a letter sent by Tovar’s lawyer a day after the alleged incident, saying that his client “was threatened and physically accosted by the city manager” and may sue the city.
He said the decision to drop the case was “political” and connected to his sour relationship with state attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle.
“This has to do with her personal prejudice against me,” said Carollo, a vocal critic of the state attorney in recent years.
Shortly after Tovar’s arrest, the city manager added, he asked Fernández Rundle to recuse herself from the case. Carollo said he didn’t believe she could fairly prosecute the case because he helped run her opponent’s campaign in last year’s race for state attorney.
DUH!  The animosity between Carollo and Rundle is well known by anyone that's lived in Miami for more than five minutes.  Last but not least, Ed Griffith from the SAO chimes in...

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/16/v-print/3822881/no-charges-in-city-hall-fracas.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/16/v-print/3822881/no-charges-in-city-hall-fracas.html#storylink=cpy
Fernández Rundle declined to comment on Carollo’s statements on Monday.
“She feels that the closeout memo is exceptionally clear, well-reasoned and thorough,” said her spokesperson, Ed Griffith, in an email to El Nuevo Herald. “Additional comment would only dilute the facts.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/16/v-print/3822881/no-charges-in-city-hall-fracas.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/16/v-print/3822881/no-charges-in-city-hall-fracas.html#storylink=cpy
Really?  Is this what our mighty state attorneys office has come down to?  Come on, dropping the case because it was documented with an incident report rather than investigated as a criminal case?  WTF does that mean?  Even worse, it's not like the case was documented as an incident report after the guy was arrested, it was documented using an incident report from the get go and the state attorneys office went forward with the prosecution and subsequent arrest!  How can they come back now and back track after the arrest and public humiliation of Tovar in the media?  Whether the guy was guilty of the alleged crime or not, at this point it seems to me that the sao has done nothing but exhibit gross incompetence.  

Even worse, my sources tell me that the Doral police department went ahead with the arrest only after consulting with the state attorneys office and getting the go ahead from them!  How the fuck do you explain that?!  I'm told Joe Carollo is going to be holding a press conference today to tell his side of the story, let's see what happens.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What's with Sweetwater and those free damn police cars?

Last week we left off with a set of documents we unearthed where the City of Sweetwater's then mayor, Jose "Pepe" Diaz, begged the City of South Miami for some of their old police cars.  While I can't understand why the hell Sweetwater would want to get cars from a place like South Miami, what makes the whole deal make sense is that at the time of the request, former City of South Miami police chief, Orlando Martinez de Castro then deputy director of public works in South Miami, was also working in some capacity at the City of Sweetwater so essentially he was giving the cars to himself.

With that said, one of our readers from way back chimed in yesterday on the topic of Sweetwater and their relentless pursuit of free cars...
Straw Buyer,
You need to also look at the City of Miami for the same scheme. Back in 2010, Mayor Regalado and Commissioner Gort were trying to donate Police cruisers to the City of Sweetwater. The former Purchasing Director objected to the donation and recommended that these vehicles be publicly auctioned off and if the City of Sweetwater were so interested they could do by participating and acquiring it through a competitive process. At that time, then City Manager Carlos Migoya publicly attacked the former Purchasing Director during the City Commission Meeting held on 2/25/10. If you get the minutes, you will see for yourself. They got rid of the Purchasing Director because he was too honest and ethical. This has been an on-going scheme of vehicles being donated and then sold for profit. Get the minutes and see for yourself.

North Observer
No kidding?  Vehicles donated then sold for profit?  I wonder if that's the case over at Sweetwater?  After all, if they really wanted the cars for parts, like the North Observer said, why wouldn't they just buy them at auction rather than go begging for them and leave themselves wide open to ridicule and this kind of speculation?  Furthermore, the letter from our last post where then mayor of Sweetwater, Jose "Pepe" Diaz, asks for the cars for parts to keep their fleet of cars going makes no sense whatsoever as the labor cost of swapping the engines far outweighs what the cars are worth.  Also, one must consider what value a high mile drive train has coming out of a car that's been retired from a police department because of it's age and high miles?  

Somethings haywire here, we're sifting through loads of paperwork now looking for an answer, in the interim, tomorrow we'll take a look at how the mayor's race over in South Miami is shaping up.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Peeling back the layers of the onion...

As you can deduce from my infrequent posting lately, I've had my hands full with non blog related business.  In between juggling the responsibilities of real life, I've still managed to get my hands on some documents that show the incestuous relationship between the City of Sweetwater which as of late is constantly been in the news because of it's Mayor's arrest and the way the mayor's administration and family ran the city like a "criminal enterprise".  With that said, we've heard for years about Sweetwater's relationship with the City of South Miami's former police chief, Orlando Martinez de Castro, while we haven't found a smoking gun yet, we recently came upon a few documents that show just how tight they were.

Take a look at this letter from former Sweetwater mayor and now sitting county commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz to the then city manager of South Miami, Charles Scurr, where Diaz asks if the city has any police cars they can give to Sweetwater allegedly for "parts" to fix their ailing fleet of police cars...

That's all well and good, take a look at the date this request was written and faxed over by the mayor of Sweetwater...

The letter was written on January 6, 2000 and then somehow, just the day before, Orlando Martinez de Castro who was then the deputy director of Public Works for South Miami, just happened to send South Miami's city manager this list of "deadlined" vehicles...

What a coincidence?  Sweetwater needs some cars and it just so happens that the day before the request, Martinez de Castro furnishes South Miami with a list of cars that are just laying around?  Check the date...

I guess South Miami was so flush with funds that they could afford to give away cars?  NICE!  It's convenient that the city that they gave the cars away to for free is non other than the city of Sweetwater which gave de Castro a job in their police department after he was run out of the City of Miami PD on a rail.

I wonder where these cars that were gifted to Sweetwater ended up?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Talk shit, get sued.

Pretty simple formula, right?  Talk a bunch of crap about someone and then find yourself getting sued for slander.  That's exactly what happened during a recent City of South Miami commission meeting where commissioners Josh Liebman and Valerie Newman made the following remarks about their fellow commissioner Robert Welsh:
Liebman stated, "Commissioner Welsh is responsible for distributing another racist flyer featuring Dr. Price as the Queen of Spades, three monkeys representing three Black commissioners, and the Star Spangled Banner which was written in Ebonics".
Now, if true, that would have been a horrendous and terribly racist thing to have done.  Commissioner Newman then went on to affirm the allegations by commissioner Liebman by saying...
"Mr. Welsh distributed the flyer of the three monkeys".
Now, I don't know Commissioner Welsh all that well but I think I know him well enough to know that he would not put together a flyer with defamatory racist images such as the ones his fellow commissioners described.

So what's a reasonable person left to do under these circumstances, let alone a sitting city commissioner?  Mr Welsh took the initiative this past Tuesday at the city commission meeting and served the two commissioners who made the racist and slanderous allegations against him with a nice lawsuit for slander and defamation.  Check it out...

The real question that begs to be asked though is whether or not the City of South Miami is going to have to pick up commissioner Liebman and Newman's legal bills for this lawsuit.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Like a criminal enterprise...

That's how City of Sweetwater resident Deborah Centeno described how former Sweetwater Manny Maroño and his crew ran the city in this Miami Herald article.  While the attention Sweetwater and it's former mayor and friends has been getting lately is all well and good, somehow no one has made the link between the shenanigans in Sweetwater and our favorite little town, South Miami, and it's former Chief of Police, Orlando Martinez de Castro.

Let's not forget that when the City of South Miami would set up DUI checkpoints there was usually Sweetwater cops at those checkpoints or when there were drug raids in the black areas of South Miami, once again, there were Sweetwater cops on the scene.  Now, it's not like Sweetwater is the next town over from South Miami, Sweetwater is actually located nearly ten miles away from South Miami, so the question that begs to be asked is why the hell were Sweetwater cops spending so much time over in South Miami?

It's also worth mentioning that both former chief Orlando Martinez de Castro and South Miami Detective Lopez both had jobs over at Sweetwater before coming over to South Miami, the later of which fled Sweetwater while he was under investigation for beating up a citizen.

There's much more brewing just below the surface regarding the relationship between Sweetwater, it's former mayor and the City of South Miami's former police chief Orlando Martinez de Castro.  While the Herald article recently touched upon the common denominator, Southland Towing, I'm told that that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Let's see what we can turn up, I get the feeling that the tenticles of Sweetwater's "Criminal Enterprise" have deep roots over in South Miami's former chief's administration.