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NUMBER 169 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019



The behavior at Miami City Hall has gone far beyond the incompetence and run-of-the mill abuse of the public's trust that had become the norm into the realm of wanton and willful criminality.

These people have reached a point, in no small part because as the result of the abject failure of both the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission and more importantly, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office's refusal to treat the behavior of these crooked politicians for what it is: Crimes that are worth prosecuting and removing some of these people from office as an example for others to learn from.

Here's what happened yesterday to support this claim..

At approximately 3 minutes after noon, Commission Chairman Ken Russell announced that the commission had to take a short recess because by law he was required to be sworn in for his new term as a city commissioner at noon of that day, and noon had just passed.

There was some laughing and joking about the things that he had done in the last three minutes being illegal by commissioners Carollo, Reyes, and Russell yucked it up with them while Todd Hannon the City Clerk was asked to come over with a Bible that Russell could use for his swearing in.

The video tape shows just how loosely-gooey it was was, and when Hannon showed up with the Bible and a microphone, Carollo took the microphone and said to Russell, "Now our common buddy can write about something else other than the usual."

At that point Hannon gestured to Carollo that the microphone was live, and he turned it off.

The swearing in of Russell took place with the microphone turned off, and then everyone kind of scattered and some went out of camera range, while others moved over ot talk with other people.

All of this was broadcast live over the city's website, and I watched this for a couple minutes at home and somehow I got a feeling that that I should videotape what I was watching.

I keep my video camera on a tripod close to my computer, and so I reached over, quickly set the camera up, enlarged the video to full screen and proceeded to video tape 5:43 minutes of what was happening in the chambers at City Hall and being broadcast to the public on the city's website.

One of the things that happened was that Commissioner Carollo and Commissioner Russell came together by their seats, and started talking. You will see that the conversation goes on for approximately 1:20 before Jorge Mas walks up to the dais and speaks to both of them.

After they ended their talk there was some more milling around before Russell sat down and called the meeting back to order.

In all, between the portions that I had missed recording including Russell's swearing in, and the portion that I did record, I estimate that the recess lasted about 8-9 minutes.

Because I had missed capturing the portion where Carollo told Russell about their "common buddy" - which obviously was me, when the meeting ended, I tried to replay the video so that I could record that portion, but the video wasn't available.

Normally those videos become immediately available, and so I waited, and I waited, and as I waited it dawned on me that maybe the reason that the video wasn't available was because someone had given an order to edit the video and take out part of the portion of the meeting that I described above.

Sure enough, when the video finally came online, I opened it and the whole portion, starting right after Russell says that he needs to take a recess until he calls the meeting back to order is missing.

Here is the portion of that edited video copied from the version posted on the city's website.

Copyrighted:  2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Neither version shows Commissioner Russell being sworn in, which in itself might represent a separate violation given that the swearing in constitutes an official act conducted in chambers, and an act that no one that I contacted could recall when the last was that the swearing in of an elected official in the city wasn't videotaped.

Certainly every elected official since 2010 has had their swearing in videotaped as part of the official record, which is why there is why I believe that the audio/video technician at City Hall didn't turn off the cameras as they normally do when a recess is called.

When he heard, "I  need to be sworn in," he no doubt concluded that this was something that needed to be recorded and transmitted.

So here's the situation, once that video was live streamed out to the public on the city's website, that video tape became an official public record.  The arbitrary editing of that public record as soon as the meeting ended, I believe clearly constitutes a destruction of that record, which represents a flagrant and willful violation of Florida Public Records Law.

That destruction could not, and did not happen as a result of some accident or technical glitch.

It happened because someone with the authority to tell the audio/video technician to edit the video and remove the 8 plus minutes of tape, did that, and did it on purpose.

That order and the subsequent action to remove the 8 plus minutes takes this out of the realm of an unintended civil violation and into a criminal violation because no public official would do that without premeditation based on the fact that there was something on those edited 8 plus minutes that they considered embarrassing or harmful to them.

Here's what the law says about what constitutes a criminal infraction of the Florida Public Records Law, Chapter 119.10(1)(b).

Here is the portion of the video that I shot at home that shows you the 5:43 portion that I captured that was removed from the city's version.

Furthermore, the discussion between Carollo and Russell creates an  appearance of that conversation being a violation of the Sunshine Law.  

It's true that from looking at the tape we do not know what was said because the microphones were turned off, but while both of these commissioners can claim that they were talking about snow cones, lollipops and fairy dust, we don't know that, and neither can they prove that they weren't talking about the remaining items still to come before them for a vote when the meeting was reconvened.

Nor, based on their past behavior, words and actions since they've been elected officials - Carollo by being the raving unhinged asshole that he is who was caught lying during the aborted Ethics Commission investigation, and Russell who openly admitted that when it comes to obeying the law he is much more interested in the spirit, rather than the letter of the law - that we should expect or allow their words to carry anymore weight by virtue of their being elected officials, than some raving lunatic standing on a street corner.

The behavior of elected officials in the City of Miami violating the provisions of Florida's Sunshine Law is not as rare an occurrence as you might think.

If you go to a commission meeting there is a good chance that sometime during that meeting you'll see 2 or more commissioners slip off into a corner where they can't be seen by one of the video cameras in the room to have a little discussion, and that's before they takes their recesses and slip off behind closed doors behind the chambers.

All of this goes on with impunity because all of these people know that no one is going to lift so much as a pinky to chastise them, much less actually take the steps to prosecute any of them for what has become an open and wanton practice of shitting on the Sunshine Law.

The Unethical Ethics Commission is always looking for excuses not to go after powerful politicians, or to pressure them to follow their so-called Letters of Instruction on rare occasions they've been willing to reprimand the behavior that is so flagrant that it cannot be ignored - an example being when the City of Miami was served with a formal Letter of Instruction for the city to change its policies regarding the issuances of "Free Tickets" in 2012, when Francis Suarez was the Chairman of the Commission.

It is now 2019, and Francis Suarez is the mayor, and he, the city manager, the city commissioners and the city attorney all continue to wipe their ass with the changes recommended in the Letter of Instruction that have never been memorialized in a change in the city's ordinances like they promised that they would do.

It's all a shit show, and the State Attorney's Office which would be the natural place to take this example of a violation of the Sunshine Law is the last place to do so, because Tim VanderGieson and Johnette Hardimon the two asswipes in charge of the Public Corruption Unit of the State Attorney's Office only seem to find prosecutable public corruption case among Black politicians in Opa Locka, or Jewish politicians in North Miami Beach.

Neither has ever lodged a criminal case against a prominent and powerful Cuban politician in the City of Miami, the County or Coral Gables.

Think I'm lying, here's the link to my story of how VanderGieson shut down the investigation against Willy Gort days after an FDLE Special Agent went to him for a subpoena to seize Willy's computer as part of his investigation into the $18,000 of "free" bus bench advertising and other alleged crimes, including Willy's accountant cooking the campaign books to hide donations that he was pursuing.

All of this is why this will get swept under the rug, and why my other story today will not result in an inverstigation of the voter fraud committed by Alex Diax de la Portilla and his campaign workers.

It truly is Miami, Bitches!