It's Official: Miami Is Now a Charity Case

Diehard fans of the Magic City open their hearts -- and their checkbooks

Two weeks ago Carollo forwarded the checks donated by Banks and Esdaile to the office of City Manager Ed Marquez. (The dollar donated by Fleming was not initially sent to the manager's office because members of the mayor's office forgot where they had put it. Only after New Times requested an accounting, after three full working days, and after, in the words of one aide, "the office was torn apart," was the money found in the petty-cash box.)

The $110 that was sent over to the manager's office has not yet been put to constructive use. "We just received the checks on Friday, [December 27]. None of us knew anything about this at all," confirms Dulce Borges, aide to Marquez. Where did the money go? Into what account? To pay for what? "I can't answer that," Borges admits. "I am going to show the manager now when I see him and let him know, because he doesn't even know about it." (Marquez, perpetually "busy in a meeting," could not reply before deadline.)

Esdaile hopes the money will generate some good news for a change. "We're finding out through the media small bits and pieces of the corruption," she says, "like employees stealing from the city and all. But there are also good employees! They are being overshadowed! I bet there must be a dozen employees who never called in sick, who went to work every day. These stories never get told.

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