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
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Cutié looked like a model of restraint, however, after the baby-daddy drama of his holy colleague David Dueppen made headlines. In September, the Pembroke Pines priest — or "Father Pacman Jones," as we call him — was sued for child support by a Porky's stripper he had knocked up during their years-long romance. Turns out the Archdiocese of Miami was well aware of the relationship and had even paid the stripper a settlement. Just another example of the Catholic Church's vaunted disciplinary model: Throw money at a problem until it shuts up.
If the Maury-style sexual debauchery was too jarring for you, Liberty City pastor Gaston Smith delivered a more classic example of clerical malfeasance, earning a December conviction for stealing $10,000 in county funds. Rounding out the batshit-insane contingent of holy losers: José Luis de Jesús Miranda, the "666"-tattooed cult leader who intermittently claims to be Jesus or the Antichrist. He spent the year as a fugitive from an arrest warrant stemming from a $2.2 million divorce settlement.
And ye politicians shall act like politicians
One of the passages that confirms our suspicion that whoever wrote the Bible was experiencing an incredible cocktail of hallucinogens is the story about the talking donkey. There seems to be no moral. Who is this ass, what does it want, and why are we listening to what it has to say?
Similarly, Miami-Dade County voters have a long-running tendency to give talking asses way too much credit — along with an official car, stellar health benefits, and, most disastrously, the key to our coffers.
When it comes to corrupt politicians raiding our municipal piggy bank, we've always been on the leaderboard. But the flag-on-the-lapel-and-a-feces-eating-grin set chose our most cash-strapped year in recent memory to make off with our last bits of flatware, the dining room drapes, and our great-aunt's brooch.
In her short political career, Michelle Spence-Jones has risen from the dead more often than that kid from Nazareth or his pal Lazarus. But in November, the newly reelected Miami city commissioner faced her most serious crisis yet when she was arrested for allegedly pilfering $22,000 in county grant money. She was suspended from office by Gov. Charlie Crist, but not before delivering the craziest acceptance speech we've ever witnessed. In it, she thanked and/or quoted God, Jesus, disgraced radio host Don Imus, boxing promoter Don King, and herself — in the third person. She'll try to top that speech in the new year: Spence-Jones is the favorite to win her seat back in a January 12 special election.
In contrast, fellow Commissioner Angel Gonzalez's saga was downright dull. After investigators probed the no-show city contracting gig he arranged for his daughter, Gonzalez agreed to resign in order to avoid criminal charges. The city commission was left with only two members, not enough to officially do anything. Inside sources tell New Times that Marc Sarnoff and Frank Carollo spent weeks at city hall rewatching old I Love Lucy episodes and drawing hand turkeys on construction paper.
And our annual Corrupt Politician Who Should Probably Wear a Helmet at All Times award goes to supremely dim West Miami Mayor Cesar Carasa. He was suspended by Crist (who reportedly has had to keep his suspendin' finger submerged in ice because of recent overuse) for racking up more than $70,000 in long-distance charges on his city cell phone. Turns out he was calling ladies in the Dominican Republic. In his defense, he complained he hadn't been given an official car, a good salary, or any other "perk." Then he began wailing until an aide stuffed a spoonful of mashed bananas into his mouth.
And the meek shall be mowed down by Bentley-driving douchebags
There was an alarming amount of chariot rage in biblical Israel: angels with flame-engulfed horses committing hit-and-runs on wayward prophets; Hummer-esque steel chariots that even God couldn't destroy; and the doomed hamlet of Dothan, where crazy villagers, distraught horses, and chariots of fire circled each other, cut each other off, and collided in rage.
Reminds us of Miami Beach. But these days, the rich and famous among us drive $400,000 British-made chariots with umbrellas built into the doors. This year, it seemed you couldn't cross a SoBe street without some Cristal-addled pro jock embedding a B-shaped hood ornament in your backside.
Luckily, we have something the authors of the Bible didn't have: police reports.
In the wee hours one March morning, Cleveland Browns receiver Donté Stallworth was driving his Bentley on the MacArthur Causeway when he plowed into and killed a construction worker headed to work. Stallworth admitted to cops that instead of using his brakes, he had simply flashed his headlights at the doomed pedestrian. His blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the accident read like Emilio Bonifacio's batting average. Stallworth must have sacrificed a lot of goats to the Big Guy Upstairs — or maybe he just hired a few very expensive lawyers. He served only 24 days in Florida jail for the manslaughter.
Less than two weeks later, atrocious-corporate-art millionaire Romero Britto, he of the Skittles-barf paint palette, was busted by cops for swerving on Washington Avenue in his Bentley. Unfortunately, no squinting yellow-blue-and-red kitty-cats were damaged in the escapade.