By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
There have been several questionable expenditures in the entertainment district, such as a $50,000 grant given to Club Space for what was described as a "water hook-up." Shortly thereafter the DEA made numerous drug-related arrests inside the club, which resulted in the closure of the business.
The CRA purchased the Divine Mission Church for $250,000; however, the church was appraised at $150,000. After the Church was purchased, the tenants were evicted and the building remains unoccupied and is a haven for drug users. Furthermore, there was no apparent reason as to why the church was actually purchased.
The CRA made several questionable loans. One loan in particular in the amount of $100,000 was made to the Greater Bethel AME Church. There are no loan agreements to document this loan. When the CRA was questioned regarding this transaction, they simply stated that the loan has since been satisfied; yet there are no records to show that the loan was actually repaid.
The CRA hired numerous personnel through A-1-A [Employment] Agency with questionable backgrounds and dubious duties. One particular employee, Catricia Alphonse, has a prior arrest record for prostitution and is a dancer at the Goldrush club. One of her stated functions within the CRA was to count taxicabs in the area of the Goldrush club.
Antranette PierrePierre's career with the CRA began on August 6, 2001. Her initial position was administrative assistant and later the executive assistant to the executive director. Pierre believes that the CRA hired employees with big titles, but they lacked the knowledge or ability to perform their individual jobs.
Pierre stated that she was instructed to hire Catricia Alphonse by Commissioner Arthur Teele in order to help with the Clarin Lakay Little Haiti Art Exhibit. Pierre stated that she used all available resources to locate Catricia Alphonse; however, she was unable to do so. Pierre eventually informed Commissioner Teele that she could not locate Alphonse. Pierre stated that although she was not able to locate Catricia Alphonse, Ms. Alphonse appeared at a meeting pertaining to the Clarin Lakay Little Haiti Art Exhibit with Commissioner Teele. Pierre stated that this was the first time she had ever met or seen Alphonse and believes that Teele notified Alphonse of the meeting. Commissioner Teele instructed Pierre to hire Alphonse through A-1-A [Employment] Agency.
Pierre stated that she had repeated problems with Catricia Alphonse, such as time sheets, unauthorized use of a city-owned vehicle, inappropriate clothing attire, and complaints from other staff members. In addition, Catricia Alphonse consistently complained about her pay and position within the CRA. Apparently Alphonse believed she was hired at a higher position and pay than what she actually held. When Alphonse threatened to take her complaints to Commissioner Teele, Pierre stated that she encouraged Alphonse to do so. Pierre, however, is uncertain if Alphonse did because Commissioner Teele never called her to address any complaints.
According to Pierre, it was a common rumor that Catricia Alphonse was having an affair with Commissioner Teele. Pierre also stated that Commissioner Teele was very upset when Alphonse was fired.
Miami Auditor General Victor IgweMr. Igwe stated that prior to initiating his audit, Catricia Alphonse called him at work and advised him that Commissioner Arthur Teele wanted to meet with him at Shula's Steak House in Miami Lakes. Mr. Igwe, however, stated that he never met with Commissioner Teele.
6:00 a.m.Surveillance was established at Plaza Venetia, where City of Miami Commissioner Arthur Teele resides. It should be noted that below times are approximate.
6:55 a.m.Detective White observed Commissioner Teele wearing a grey suit coming out of the lobby of the Plaza Venetia. Commissioner Teele was carrying two pieces of large luggage. Commissioner Teele went into the driver's side of his blue Hyundai and retrieved something. Commissioner Teele then entered into the driver side of a 1998 gold Land Rover (registered to Francesca Beaumelou), also parked in the valet area. It is unknown if the luggage was placed inside the Land Rover. There were no passengers in the Land Rover.
7:07 a.m. Commissioner Teele pulled into a Shell gasoline station located on 7th Avenue and NW 20th Street and fueled up the vehicle. He remained there until 7:14 a.m.
Francesca BeaumelouMrs. Francesca E. Beaumelou said that she was in the process of selling the above vehicle to Commissioner Arthur Teele for his wife, Stephanie Kerr Teele. She related that she had known Commissioner Teele since she was sixteen years of age because her mother, Graziella Z. Cripps, used to be neighbors with him in Nassau, Bahamas. She said that her mother kept in contact with Commissioner Teele and decided to call him to let him know that she was moving out of the country.
Mrs. Beaumelou informed this investigator that her mother told Commissioner Teele that she had signed her vehicle over to her daughter to sell. He subsequently told her that he would buy it. She advised that she made a bill of sale on July 21, 2004, and Commissioner Teele paid her mother $6,000 on the day she left the country. She believed the payment was made in cash. Mrs. Beaumelou provided this investigator with a draft of the bill of sale and stated that she is still waiting for Commission Teele to give her a signed copy. She also advised that the commissioner agreed to make two additional payments of $3,000 for a total purchase price of $12,000. She advised that although the commissioner still owes her money on the vehicle, she provided him with both sets of car keys and allowed him to take possession of the vehicle. She stated that she had tried to contact him to try to get the signed bill of sale from him, but he has not returned her telephone calls.