That's Rich

Wanna know how county commissioners earn their keep? Don't bother checking financial disclosure forms.

Rolle has increased his net worth by 28 percent since 1998, to $658,406, including $97,000 in household items such as furniture and clothes. Rolle attributes his net worth spurt to an increase in investments, including mutual funds.

District 13 Commissioner Natacha Millan works as a consultant for the YMCA and earns $49,503. Millan didn't respond to questions about the job. The YMCA also declined to explain what she does for them or how often. “We can't report on our employees,” says Bixie O'Connell, assistant to the president. Hialeah Hospital also pays Millan, a board member, $200 for meetings she attends there, though it is unclear what they are about or how many are held each year. The commissioner declined to respond to questions about the nature of her jobs or how her net worth has more than doubled in four years.

District 3 Commissioner Barbara Carey also has a three-day-per-week consulting job with the Miami-Dade County school system's Office of Multicultural and Alternative Education Programs. It pays $34,422. Carey currently is on vacation and unreachable, according to her staff, so she couldn't define her duties. Alberto Carvalho, a district public information officer offered only this: “She is a K-12 hourly certified teacher. She works for the office.” He would not respond to questions about her employment. Carey's form shows she also receives a $67,031 pension for her 25 years as a schoolteacher and $33,055 for her commission work. Carey claims a net worth of $871,339, up more than 40 percent since she was elected in 1996.

Most of the commissioners' financial forms raise similar questions. The only exceptions were commissioners Jimmy Morales and Katy Sorenson, who in addition to the forms, submitted their tax returns. Interestingly both have more than tripled their net worth since taking office. Sorenson, who is on vacation, could not be reached for comment. Morales said the combination of selling his house and mutual funds account for the increase.

Are all the figures accurate? We may never know. While there are penalties for lying on the forms, there is little to prevent county commissioners from submitting incomplete, erroneous, or fraudulent information. No government employee checks the forms unless a citizen complains. (Complaint forms are available on the Internet at http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/Cmplaint.pdf -- Acrobat Reader required.)


NAME --- NET WORTH AT OUTSET --- LATEST --- CURRENT INCOME

Betty Ferguson --- $207,000 (94) --- $220,000 --- $91,616

Dorrin Rolle --- $512,887 (98) --- $658,406 --- $162,000

Barbara Carey --- $605,261 (96) --- $871,339 --- $138,279

Gwen Margolis --- $3,480,351 (98) --- NOT FILED --- $376,592*

Bruno Barreiro --- $138,400 (98) --- $168,999 --- $35,129

Pedro Reboredo --- $313,930 (93) --- $366,943 --- $161,710

Jimmy Morales --- $135,000 (96) --- $409,000 --- $174,668

Katy Sorenson --- $162,703 (94) --- $507,289 --- $26,274

Dennis Moss --- $54,110 (93) --- $83,669 --- $95,723

Javier Souto --- $354,354 (93) --- $492,023 --- $38,347

Miguel Diaz de la Portilla --- $111,000 (93) --- $55,631 --- $87, 695

Miriam Alonso --- $2,766,121 (96) --- $2,735,382 --- $226,265

Natacha Millan --- $124,000 (93) --- $196,928 --- $85,282**

*Margolis's income figure is from 1998. **Millan's income figure is an estimate. It does not include the money from Hialeah Hospital.

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