corruption

Nelson Antoine / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

If you needed another reminder that the new Brazil is really just the old Brazil, here’s some handy news:

Yet another epic public fraud scheme has emerged this week – a $2.5 billion scandal involving the pension funds of Brazil’s largest state-run companies.

This latest financial atrocity adds one more fetid float to Brazil’s long samba parade of corruption – including the $3 billion bribery horror at the state-run Petrobras oil firm.

Opa-locka Commissioner Facing Corruption Charges Killed in Car Crash

May 24, 2016
CHARLES TRAINOR JR / THE MIAMI HERALD

On Wednesday morning, Opa-locka city commissioner Terence Pinder was supposed to surrender to face allegations that he illegally accepted $7,020 from a solid-waste contractor in exchange for political favors.

On Tuesday, Pinder crashed the SUV he was driving into a tree in a large open field at a very high speed and ended his life.

Miami Herald

We begin The Florida Roundup with corruption in Opa-locka. The Miami Herald uncovered a months-long investigation by the FBI that includes extortion and bribery in the city involving a commissioner, the city manager and a former cop.

Luis Soto / AP via Miami Herald

After Sunday’s first round of voting, the leading candidate in Guatemala’s presidential run-off election next month will be a former comedian. But the anti-corruption wave sweeping Central America is no joke – and has been spreading next door to Honduras.

Guatemalan actor Jimmy Morales has never held elected office. But it’s not surprising that an outsider candidate like him got the most votes. Guatemalans are so angry about corruption that last week President Otto Pérez was forced to resign and faces charges in a major scandal.

dnguah / YouTube

In March, hundreds of Brazilian-Americans in South Florida gathered at Miami’s Bayfront Park to protest massive corruption in Brazil. But many may not have known that one alleged perpetrator of all that graft back in their mother country owns a home – a really big one – just across Biscayne Bay.

twitter.com/janinewedel

01/06/15 - Join us for Tuesday’s Topical Currents, when we discuss what’s widely known as “dark money.”  These funds come from undisclosed donors and advocacy groups.  They often influence public opinion, legislation and elections.

11/04/14 - Tuesday' s Topical Currents looks at how US elections have been increasingly influenced by

Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department

North Miami suspended its purchasing manager without pay on Friday, after the city's police chief confirmed he was recently arrested. 

Court records show MarcAnthony Tulloch was arrested by Sunny Isles Beach police on July 24 for third-degree grand theft and official misconduct.

According to North Miami City Manager Aleem Ghany, the felony charges stem from Tulloch's time as purchasing manager at  the City of Sunny Isles Beach.

A spokesperson for Sunny Isles Beach was not immediately available for comment.

Florida Department of State

The Florida Division of Elections says 18 people have qualified to run for governor. They include Republicans, Democrats, independents, a Libertarian, and write-in candidates.

The two frontrunners, Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist, disclosed their financial records when they filed papers to run earlier this month.

So did Democrat Nan Rich, the former minority leader of the Florida Senate who is struggling to get any attention ahead of her primary race with Crist. 

Homestead Earns $26 Million In Voter Trust

May 13, 2014

UPDATE 8 a.m., May 14: The City of Homestead reports voters overwhelmingly approved bond referendums Tuesday.

http://www.carlhiaasen.com/

02/04/14 - Tuesday's Topical Currents is with writer Carl Hiaasen. A native of Plantation, Florida, his career includes being a Miami Herald investigative reporter . . . an award-winning columnist  . . . and the author of 14-dark mystery novels which capture the absurd landscape of South Florida.  His columns deride the graft, corruption and outlandishness of Florida, on many fronts.

The chief of the Miami Gardens police department resigned on Wednesday amid allegations that his officers have been harassing and intimidating local citizens.

Meanwhile, a response from the U. S. Justice Department is awaited after an NAACP request on Tuesday for a special civil rights investigation.

Gray Swoope
chooseosceola/flickr

Florida’s public-private economic development agency is holding a two-day meeting in Coral Gables this week.

Enterprise Florida (EFI) is a partnership between business and government to lure companies and jobs to the state. It’s funded by Florida taxpayers as well as private-sector businesses.

The meeting will include updates from Gov. Rick Scott, EFI President & CEO Gray Swoope, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad and “jobs success stories.”

Congressman Joe Garcia’s former chief of staff will head to jail for orchestrating a fraudulent, online absentee-ballot request scheme during last year’s elections.

Jeffrey Garcia, the Miami Democratic congressman’s longtime political strategist, will spend 90 days in jail as part of a plea deal reached with the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, the Miami Herald has learned.

The deal, expected to be inked Monday, will require Garcia, 41, no relation to the congressman, to plead guilty to requesting absentee ballots on behalf of voters, a felony.

CBS4

Three South Florida mayors were accused of corruption in August, offering up a salient, cautionary tale for anyone who puts their faith in Miami's elected officials. The mayors from Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Homestead represent a triumvirate of questionable behavior, a triple threat of public office tomfoolery and a real world trifecta of tropical sleaze.

I ran an informal poll of friends and acquaintances and the major takeaway and dominant response is that nobody is shocked. This is where we are in Miami politics:

"I'm not surprised."

Pages