The Haunting of Alex Daoud, Part 2

The disgraced former Miami Beach mayor comes out swinging at his former friends and associates

*As a first-term city commissioner, he says, he actively participated in the brutal police beating of three suspected rapists whose victim was a friend of Daoud. The beating allegedly took place after the suspects had been subdued and restrained.

*Beginning soon after that confrontation with the rape suspects, and continuing for several years, Daoud occasionally rode along with Miami Beach police officers, some of whom he says organized themselves into a gang of badge-carrying vigilantes. "We developed a system of punishment to rid our city of the Mariel criminals," Daoud claims. If someone was found committing a misdemeanor or minor violation, the cops would drive him across the causeway to Overtown, take his shoes, money, and identification, remove his belt, and dump him there.

For felons or those found repeatedly committing minor crimes, the vigilante officers would handcuff them, drive them behind the Theater of the Performing Arts, drag them out of the police car, and while they were still handcuffed, "punish them," Daoud recalls. The officers employed Mace, electric shocks, clubs, and feet. "You tried not to use your hands because you didn't want to leave marks on your knuckles," Daoud recounts. "The crime rate didn't drop, but there were very few repeat offenders for us to deal with." The officers referred to these beatings as "attitude adjustment sessions."

Daoud names three officers allegedly involved in these incidents. One of them says he "heard about" the so-called attitude adjustment sessions but denies participating in them. The same officer, though, confirms that the dumping of small-time crooks in Overtown was common, and that City of Miami cops often returned the favor. (The second officer denied knowledge of Daoud's allegations, and the third officer did not return phone calls.)

*While married to his second wife, Daoud consummated his first extramarital affair, at Seacoast Towers. During the next several years, he estimates he slept with scores of women -- including a high-ranking city official -- and engaged in group sex at his home while his wife was away at dental school in North Carolina. His philandering continued through his third marriage, which came to an end during his federal trial when one of his lovers testified that she and Daoud had had an affair. (Daoud's only child was a product of his third marriage.)

Corruption was rife during his years in office, Daoud claims. "We made Ali Baba and the 40 thieves look like choirboys," he proclaims. And if prosecutors were to approach him now and ask him questions about those same people he protected before? "Let me say this," Daoud responds. "I've had a great enlightenment. I am so sorry from day one that I didn't tell the truth about everyone."

Today Daoud lives with Robyn Elliott in a small, two-bedroom house in a development in Davie, far from the plush, $485,000 home on Miami Beach's Sunset Islands that he once called home. It is simply decorated and is clearly Elliott's place. Daoud, left to his own devices, is a slob. The clutter in the corners -- stacks of documents; boxes teeming with photo albums, newspaper clippings, and other mementos; medical and self-help books; a child's toys -- all of that is Daoud's.

The most prominent decorations are a few artifacts Daoud has saved from his years in political office. Above a sliding glass door to the tiny back yard is a row of black-and-white photographs: Daoud in a tux with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Daoud with Raquel Welch, Daoud with Don Johnson. On a side table is a framed photo of the mayor holding forth with a microphone, broad-shouldered, flat-bellied, speaking to an AFL-CIO convention at the Sheraton Bal Harbour in the late Eighties. A brass doorplate -- Mayor Alex Daoud -- is wedged into the frame.

"Look at those pictures," says Daoud, whose hair was long and scraggly when he was released from prison but has recently been cropped at the insistence of his probation officer. "Doesn't that look like a different world?" He plops down on a large, overstuffed chair in the living room and calls for the couple's two dogs, a black mix named Midnight and a German shepherd named Freedom, the latter a gift to Daoud from Elliott on the first anniversary of his release. The two animals vie for Daoud's attention, and he adores their unconditional love. Daoud has ballooned to a bulging 285 pounds, and his physique, although enormous, continues to obsess him. "Am I really fat?" he asks hopefully. "God, I've really gotten fat, haven't I?" He wears a gray T-shirt, basketball high-tops, and a pair of those tiger-print drawstring pants favored by weightlifters -- all the better to accommodate his heft.

He certainly doesn't have money to buy better clothes. His job -- researching court records for a West Palm Beach title company -- pays him about $300 per week, a percentage of which goes toward the cost of probationary supervision. His outstanding debts, however, are enormous. The IRS recently sent him a notice of levy against his wages to the tune of $125,500 for unpaid taxes stretching back to the Eighties. He is mostly supported by Elliott's paycheck from her job as a grants writer for a retirement home.

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