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.

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