Arrested Development

Residents rejoice, but handcuffs don't humble Bob Dugger

At the November 25 city commission meeting, Alfonso, Coletta, and their hired legal guns, who were there to speak on the lawsuit and the petition, were effectively silenced by Mayor Dorne and the commissioners. Along the way, the mayor and Chief Heller violated the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, claims Alfonso's attorney, Kent Harrison Robbins. The Miami Beach-based lawyer alleges that after Dorne cut off his presentation, police officers demanded that he leave the meeting or he would be arrested. "Whatever happened with Coletta and Dugger has nothing to do with the suspension of the Constitution that evening," Robbins grouses. "There was no justification."

Dorne says Robbins, along with his client and other Dugger supporters, were being disruptive. "We knew that people were coming to stir up havoc for us," Dorne explains. "From the get-go, we were not going to tolerate any nonsense." Another person who was thrown out was Evelio Medina, a boisterous former Hialeah councilman who worked on Dugger's and Alfonso's election campaigns. Medina was booted because he kept interrupting and heckling the mayor and commissioners. "He's another troublemaker," Dorne says. "We didn't want any part of him."

Some residents are exasperated with the turmoil that has engulfed their bayside community. "I'm very embarrassed to live in this city," Miriam Giraldez said at the meeting. "What is going on here is discrediting all the hard-working people who live in North Bay Village."

Fred Harper

Dugger's problems began in February, when Coletta evicted a houseboat tenant from his marina behind the Bayshore condo. That tenant, Fane Lozman, a software entrepreneur and former Marine, alleges that Coletta threatened to kill him during an argument in which Coletta refused to install a handicap access ramp at the marina for Lozman's neighbor, Clement Mikelis, a disabled World War II veteran. Lozman responded by going after Coletta ("Thug Meets Pug," October 2). He provided the State Attorney with information on Coletta and Dugger that subsequently led to the investigation. "It was in the process of learning more about Coletta that I stumbled upon his relationship with Dugger," Lozman says. "It certainly took long enough for him to get arrested. But I think the job is only half-done."

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