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On Thursday, the last commission meeting before the commission goes on summer break will take place.
This meeting has historically been the one where some of the worst abuses of the public trust take place. This year is no different. There are a handful of items that stand out and I will try to address some of them between now and Thursday.
The first one is ULTRA.
As Joey Flechas revealed in his July 19th story that Miami Herald on the upcoming ULTRA vote next week, the ULTRA folks have managed to spend a considerable amount of money in the last couple months in a pretty naked effort to buy influence with the members of the city commission.
Here's what he wrote about that.
NUMBER 109 - JULY 22, 2019
PHONY BIRTHDAY GREETINGS FROM COMMISSIONER "SELLOUT" AND THE FAMILY THAT'S REALLY A RE-ELECTION MAILER
This part of Flechas' story was factual and accurate, and whether Commissioner Hardemon likes it or not, his passioned efforts to support the return of ULTRA, and to allow it back in Bayfront Park can justifiably be tied to the monies donated to his campaign and PAC set up in anticipation of his run for the District 3 county commission seat.
You don't need to be an FBI agent to spot a potential "Pay For Play," gambit going down.
Further down however, Flechas' story veered off into providing a platform for a complete fabrication by Miami City Attorney Victoria Mendez, who attempts to justify an ad hoc change she personally made concerning the number of votes needed for this hustle to take place by citing a non-existent comment made by a circuit court judge.
Here is that portion of his story.
THE ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL IS BACK BEFORE THE MIAMI CITY COMMISSION THIS WEEK, AND THIS TIME, LED BY CITY ATTORNEY VICTORIA MENDEZ, THERE IS NO QUESTION OF HOW FAR THOSE IN THE CITY WHO ARE IN ULTRA'S POCKET ONE WAY OR ANOTHER WILL GO TO HOODWINK THE PUBLIC
I included a larger portion of the story so as to provide you some context leading up to how Mendez claimed that she "changed her opinion," on whether the city commission could approve a revocable license with a 3 vote majority instead of the 4 vote super majority that all prior revocable licenses had required based on an "explanation" by former Circuit Court and now "Federal Judge Rodolfo Ruiz."
The case that Mendez references is a case brought against the city on March 6th, 2019, by local attorney David Winker on behalf of the Brickell Homeowners Association and Christopher B. Mullin.
The lawsuit that Winker filed was based on a claim that the city had violated the provisions of Section 29-B of the City Charter - the same section that has been claimed the city violated in their rush to put a referendum on last November's ballot for the Melreese Golf Course/Beckham Soccer Stadium deal - and because this lawsuit was filed on March 6th, BEFORE the Ultra event on Virginia Key was to take place, Winker also filed an Emergency Motion For Temporary Injunction, in an effort to stop the event from taking place before the merits of the lawsuit could be argued.
So right off the bat, you've got to be clear on this fact, while the request for a temporary injunction was denied, the lawsuit that Winker filed on behalf of his clients is still on-going. That lawsuit was NOT thrown out of court.
In addition, and of far more importance to Mendez's claim, NONE of the issues raised in the Emergency Motion For A Temporary Injunction argued before the judge involved or included any mention of whether the city commission could approve a revocable license by either a 3 vote majority, or a 4 vote super majority.
Therefore the claim by Mendez that the judge, "while explaining that he did not see how the festival's agreement to use Virginia Key met the requirements of the kind of contract that would call for a 4/5 vote," IS A COMPLETE FABRICATION, BECAUSE NOT ONE WORD IN THE EMERGENCY MOTION, NOR IN THE TRANSCRIPT OF THE HEARING ON THAT MOTION REFERENCES ANYTHING THAT COULD BE EVEN REMOTELY REFERRED TO AS SUPPORTING SUCH A CLAIM BY MENDEZ!
I DON'T WANT YOU TO TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!
Below is a copy of the the Motion filed by David Winker, and the Order denying the Temporary Injunction that includes the transcript of the hearing before Judge Ruiz.
Go and look for yourselves, and see if you can find one reference or mention anywhere in either document where the judge said or implied anything remotely related to Mendez's justifying her claim that what he said provided her with anything remotely resembling a legal opinion that the city commissioners did not have to support a new revocable license with ULTRA with anything other than a 4/5 vote.
The reason why you won't find any mention of this is that the question of a 3 vote simple majority, or a 4/5 super majority NEVER became an issue until a couple weeks ago when the decision was made to try and stick the festival back in Bayfront Park and the city attorney's office discovered that several roadblocks had been erected by the Bayfront Park Trust to try and stop such an effort.
Last March, when this lawsuit was filed, and when the Motion For An Emergency Injunction was argued there was no concern about what kind of vote would be needed to try and stick the festival back in Bayfront Park, because everybody then was singing kumbaya around the campfire over how great things would work out on Virginia Key
Now, I don't claim to be a rocket scientist when it comes to editing, although I do try to be on top of the facts I use in my stories, but I'm just a guy sitting at home writing a blog, and not the newspaper of record for all of South Florida.
I believe that what happened by allowing Mendez's bogus claim to appear without fact checking is clearly indicative of how slovenly the fact checking and editing at the Miami Herald has become, because all it would have taken to verify if what she said was true would have been to log onto the Miami-Dade County Clerk Of Court's website, go to the Civil Court Standard Search, type in Brickell Homeowners Association, and all of the documents in the case would have appeared as if by magic, including the two above, which is how I got them.
That the Miami Herald would give the City Attorney of Miami a platform to willy-nilly put words in the mouth of a circuit court judge, and then allow her to use his promotion to the federal court as a way to burnish her lie without doing any sort of checking is just about as brazen an act of misleading the public as you could imagine.
I keep saying that Victoria Mendez is an out-and-out pathological liar, and unfit to be the City Attorney of Miami, and this example is just one more reason for why she needs to be fired!
It's Miami. Bitches!
THERE COULD BE A NEW CONTENDER SITE FOR WHERE ULTRA ENDS UP
As sometimes happens, shortly after posting my story about the antics of Miami City Attorney Victoria Mendez trying to grease the wheels that would allow the ULTRA Music Festival back into Bayfront Park, an anonymous Crespogram reader sent me the above text message that I was able to confirm was sent to a select group of Wynwood business owners.
The "Tony" who sent the message is Tony Abelo, the founder of SWARM, a full service promotion and event company in Wynwood who has become the BFF of both Keon Hardemon and Francis Suarez, and who seems in a very short period of time to have become a very big fish in a very small pond, a situation that has not endeared him to all, including this reference in an Miami New Times article about the performance artist Kunst.
While Abelo is correct in claiming that trying to fit ULTRA into Wynwood would be difficult, even allowing for the acreage available on the Mana property, Miami has a history of forcing 10 pounds of shit into 5 pound bags, and once again, time and options are closing in on ULTRA's choices on where to hold next year's event.
The big question is given that there is already a major battle brewing between the Wynwood bar and nightclub owners and all the newly arriving residents who are paying as much as $4000 a month to live in the Related Group's newest apartments, what kind of fight can be expected once those folks realize that besides the weekly noise from the clubs that surround them the arrival of ULTRA in the hood might become a possibility.
It's Miami, Bitches!