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Al Crespo, a long-time investigator and public critic of the Florida film industry and its

machinations in Tallahassee, as well as public corruption in the City of Miami, and who

through his blog The Crespogram for 10 years exposed official ineptitude and

malfeasance, died DATE at his home in Miami Shores at the age of 80.

Born in Havana, Cuba on December 24, 1941 to Albert and Alice Crespo, he was the-last of the two direct descendants of the earliest families to settle of Key West in 1816-17. He

was also the grandson of Pablo Crespo-Perez, an honored Cuban Revolutionary hero

from the Spanish-

Prior to returning to Miami in 1984, he spent 20+ years in state and federal prisons for

armed robbery and armed bank robbery. Upon his return, he was fortunate to find a

new life working in the South Florida film industry, in no small part because the film

industry functions on merit and not on resumes. For nearly 30 years he worked his way

up from a production assistant to line producing and production managing for almost

100 TV commercials, as well as scores of music videos. This work gave him the

opportunity to work with some of the most creative and talented actors and musicians of

the last 30 years including Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and World Music Award winners.

In 1998, seeking a new creative challenge, Crespo undertook a multi-year project

reporting and documenting social unrest across America. In this effort, he also worked

as a contract photographer for the Associated Press. His project resulted in the

publication of a coffee-table photo book, Protest In The Land of Plenty.

While covering the 2000 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, Crespo was shot with

rubber bullets several times in the head by Los Angeles police. He became the lead

plaintiff in the federal lawsuit Crespo et al. vs. Los Angeles Police Department, the

American Civil Liberties Union case that set new guidelines for how police deal with the

news media during protests and demonstrations.

In 2010, in response to newly-elected Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado's firing the City’s

film commissioner and replacing him with an incompetent political appointee, he

launched The Crespogram Newsletter. It did not take Crespo long to discover, like

others before him, that Miami City Hall was a festering hotbed of malfeasance and

public corruption.

Crespo soon earned a reputation for breaking news stories that mainstream media

ignored, including an alleged 00,000 bribe offered to then-Mayor Regalado by then-

Miami Police Chief Miguel Esposito in 2011, the theft of 11 revolvers from the Police

Department's "secure" facility in 2016, and the Department’s use of a rotting storage

container under Interstate 95 in downtown Miami to store police evidence.


Perhaps Crespo’s most significant accomplishment was informing the community not

only about the almost daily corruption at Miami City Hall, but making the exposure

possible by mastering the process of accessing public records. He was relentless in the

pursuit of public records: In 2017, the Downtown Development Authority, an agency of

the City of Miami, agreed to settle a lawsuit for public records by paying Crespo’s

attorneys $!0,000.

In November 2020, as a result of the pandemic and the discovery that he had inoperable

liver cancer, Crespo announced his retirement. In the last months of his life he crafted

several episodes of what he hoped would become a dramatic television series based on

the stories he had written in the Crespogram Newsletter. With suggestions from several

close friends, he agreed to give the series the working title It’s Miami, Bitches!, the tag

line that ended so many of his posted stories.

Crespo never ceased to understand and appreciate the trust that so many Miami city

employees – especially police officers – demonstrated in support of his efforts to

uncover corruption via the silent and essential contributions they made by providing

him papers, audio tapes and first-hand information on how the City's bureaucracy


While he might have been a bank robber earlier in life, Crespo never flinched from that

reality through to his final days. When politicians whom he exposed attempted to

discredit him, he would remind them: “Yes, that’s true, but unlike you, I wore a mask.”

There will be no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, Crespo requested that we all vote at

every opportunity. “Remember, we still live in a democracy."he said. "Evil and

corruption exist not only in Miami but throughout the nation, and the votes of caring

citizens is democracy’s best protection.”