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Next time Barack Obama is in town, Ada Rojas might want to steer clear of his motorcade. Or hope that her boss, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, melts his icy relationship with the city's boys in blue before the next presidential visit.
On October 11, Regalado's resident affairs and special events coordinator found herself blocked from passing through the intersection at SW Eighth Street and 58th Avenue when the commander in chief made a pit stop at restaurant El Mago de las Fritas. Rojas allegedly refused to drive her 2010 Volkswagen Jetta around the blockade, so a Miami cop arrested her for failure to obey a law enforcement officer. Rojas, who makes $67,169.65 a year, and her lawyer, Lida Rodriguez-Tasseff, declined to comment.
According to Rojas's arrest report, a Miami Police officer instructed her to back up her Jetta and take an alternate route via SW Ninth Street. Instead, she allegedly turned off the engine, got out, and began snapping pictures of the officer. "I work for the mayor's office, and you have no right to block the street," she said, according to the report. The cop again ordered her to leave the area, but she didn't budge, claiming she posed "no threat." That's when she was cuffed and hauled off to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. The report also noted that "a strong odor of alcohol was noticed on [her] breath."
Rojas's lawyer is no stranger to taking on the Miami Police Department. Rodriguez-Tasseff is an ex-president of the Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union who battled former police Chief John Timoney over his heavy-handed tactics during the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas summit.
For now, Rojas is not in trouble with Regalado, says the mayor's spokesman, Pat Santangelo: "He is going to let the process play out."