A Friend Indeed

Meet Camilo Padreda, dynamic businessman, faithful Republican, patron of law enforcement, convicted felon

Felix Rodriguez added this: "We tried to get them [the mayor and the chief] together. We are friends of Chief Martinez. We're very proud of him. He's the first Cuban-American police chief."

The meeting failed to sway the mayor, and three months later Martinez announced his resignation.


Valerie Sebring
The FBI's Hector Pesquera (left) is a Camilo Padreda fan, as is recently retired Miami Police Chief Raul Martinez (right)
Steve Satterwhite
The FBI's Hector Pesquera (left) is a Camilo Padreda fan, as is recently retired Miami Police Chief Raul Martinez (right)

Back at the CSC clinic in Little Havana, Padreda sweeps aside any concerns about his influence within the police department -- past, present, or future. He would never have pushed Chief Martinez to promote someone: "If I told him to promote John Doe, what do you think he would do? He would not listen to me.

"I'm a businessman," he continues. "You know who has the power in Miami? The people who raise money for politicians. I don't do that anymore. Fourteen years I'm not involved in politics." He pauses for effect. "I have friends, yes. And I will help my friends in any way I can. Maybe someday you call me and say your wife, your daughter needs help. My door is open to you."

And then he gestures toward that door. The conversation is over.

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