Recall Tomas Regalado

Um, OK. To top it off, before she worked a single day at city hall, Pacheco was given a 38 percent raise to $76,000, according to a Crapp memo dated January 24.

Regalado declined to comment about her job and salary. Crapp has left city hall to work for a lobbying firm.

Then there's Richard LaBella, who was brought on this past April 11 for $80,000 a year as a "quality assurance manager" in the information technology department — even though he has only a high school diploma. Again, Crapp waived the hiring freeze for him.

"How can Regalado hire a guy off the street for $80,000 with no college degree when he's asking me to lay off employees who have been with the city for decades?" asks Hatten, the union chief.

Great question. Regalado declined to comment on the issue.

Also during the freeze, Regalado personally hired two office assistants at $40,000 a pop while Crapp signed off on an $80,000-per-year assistant, an $85,000-per-year intergovernmental affairs liaison, and a $35,000 media relations guru.

In an email sent to commissioners two weeks ago, after blogger Al Crespo exposed some shady hires, the mayor explained that "elected officials can hire full-time, part-time, or contract employees as long as they're within their budget."

Hiring freeze, our ass.

3. He Said Bye to the City's Conscience

For more than a decade, Victor Igwe was city hall's conscience. From the moment the Nigerian-born, London-raised accountant accepted the job of city auditor 12 years ago, he threw fireballs at anyone abusing taxpayer money. His work got Bayfront Park Trust officials arrested, city commissioners investigated, and, more recently, sparked an SEC probe of city finances.

So when four administrators walked into his office on the Miami River one month ago and told him to pack up and leave, Igwe had no doubt why they were there. "Anyone who doesn't think I was let go because I embarrassed city hall one too many times should have their head examined," the 59-year-old says.

When Igwe arrived, he found a moribund department more interested in political favor than fact-checking. He canned overpaid do-nothings and hired auditors with CPAs. They issued 17 audits in the first year — including a shocker that found the Bayfront Park Trust's executive director paying himself cash, buying boatloads of tickets, and pouring funds into lobbyists' accounts. The audit led to a federal investigation.

Igwe later assisted with the probe into misused funds by Commissioner Arthur Teele that ended with the commish fatally shooting himself in the Miami Herald lobby. He also whacked Miami's corrupt housing agency time and again. New county Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a former Miami city manager, credited Igwe with creating the city's "first... professional audit department."

But he might have signed his own pink slip with three scathing audits showing money was routinely shuffled illegally to cover budget gaps.

The first came November 17, 2009, shortly after Regalado took office. Igwe discovered city budget keepers had illegally shifted millions from construction projects and maintenance funds to mask budget holes. A few months later, on February 3, 2010, the auditor described rampant credit card abuse. Dozens of employees had improperly charged thousands in parking and tolls, and a department head had double-billed taxpayers.

Then, on August 16, Igwe reported the city had improperly used $9.47 million in gas taxes to balance the budget.

Finally, this past February 17, the auditor embarrassed Regalado by finding that his latest budget, to hide a $6 million shortfall, had illegally mixed into the general fund more than $20.5 million in highly restricted money meant for sewer upgrades.

Officially, it was the commission's call to not renew Igwe's contract after a review by Commissioner Frank Carollo. Regalado, in fact, says he was surprised. "I knew Frank was re-examining his work," Regalado says. "I guess he felt it was time to move on."

Igwe, though, lays some blame on the mayor. "I just hope that God saves the taxpayers without me in that office," he says.

4. He Has Infuriated Black Miami

Between July 2010 and this past February, Miami Police officers shot and killed seven men — all black and all in Overtown, Allapattah, and Liberty City. It's the worst wave of police violence since the turn of the century, and many critics blame the city's top executive, if for nothing else than allowing the tainted police chief, Miguel Exposito, to stay.

Less noticed in recent weeks has been Regalado's new political problem: three top African-American city leaders have all resigned or been fired in quick succession. A New Times review found that of the 35 directors and assistant directors atop the city hierarchy, only seven are black. None of those who remain is in a key political position.

"Considering how high tensions still are with the police department, Regalado had better be looking to fill those vacancies with some black candidates," says Larry Handfield, a lawyer who recently quit a panel looking into the police shootings, which the city hasn't taken seriously enough, he believes.

Regalado needs black support. He beat challenger Joe Sanchez in 2009 partly because of steady African-American voting. Since taking office, his longtime chief of staff, Tony Crapp Jr., has provided political cover from the police department's woes — but on June 20, Crapp departed.

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30 comments
pirtdab
pirtdab

We don't HAVE to stand for this type of corruption. We can, and deserve to have better.

 For the rest of us who actually CARE about the future of our City and our quality of life,
 HERE is the name you need to know: 

                              JEFF BENJAMIN!

For those of us who live in the City of Miami, and want to see a positive and lasting change in our community; the choice is clear.

Jeff Has been running a grassroots campaign, and has clearly gotten the cold shoulder from every major media outlet in South Florida; yet he still hasn't quit.

Jeff is the most highly educated candidate in the field; holding a PhD in neuroscience. Unlike his opponents, Jeff is not a carrier politician. He has a day job that actually benefits people in our community, in his work with Alzheimer's patients.

Jeff actually has plans to HELP this City grow in a sustainable fashion. His plans for increased affordable public transportation, and the use of energy efficient technology to reduce our carbon foot print while saving taxpayers money; are items untouched by any other candidate out there...and they are just the tip of the iceberg. As you look deeper, you can find that he also has plans to increase trade with the Caribbean, and create thousands of new jobs that will actually provide a decent living wage. He has vowed to root out corruption, by any means necessary; including asking for help from the Department of Justice. -And all that from his page and the few interviews you can find on him.  Imagine if the media did its job to inform the citizenry and actually paid attention to him...

Do the research, get educated, and VOTE November 5th;
for a Candidate you can ACTUALLY BELIEVE IN!
Vote For JEFF BENJAMIN!

Windmichael21
Windmichael21

the most corrupt town in miami dade is bay harbor islands-there has never been spanish commisioner there even though the town is 70 percent latino,let regalato be the chief in bay harbor islands and give him a banana.

Al Crespo
Al Crespo

Police and firefighters call for union votes to recall His Ignorance, Tomas Regalado.

Fire 500 now
Fire 500 now

Tomas Regalado and Johnny Martinez need to reduce pay and benefits for all 4,200 employees immediately. Concurrently, they must fire 500. Reducing the headcount to 3,400 to 3,500 should have been done years ago.

Is Regalado too stupid to know what needs to be done? Is he surrounded by too many idiots?

Sleep walking chump
Sleep walking chump

City of Miami fires it's disgraced CFO Larry Spring. Rookie City Manager Tony Crappola leaves under a cloud taking huge severance checks on his way out the door.

Regalado sleep walks from one disaster to another.

City failing
City failing

Regalado is a bumbling fool. How about the Gucci wearing commissioner Marc Sarnoff? He demands the City pay a policeman to be his chauffeur. Then he gives raises to his cronies.

BeReal
BeReal

This article is a good but I can assure you it is only the surface. The city’s corruption is overwhelming and honestly scary enough to be in the movies. The layers of corruption, mismanagement, bad processes, and backroom deals (to name a few) are massive. Working at the city nowadays is like working in a hostile and violent environment. The corruption starts from as low as employees taking ineligible paid time off (PTO) spending thousands of taxpayers’ dollars to hiring friends and family into $100K+ roles. You point out some interesting names Victor Igwe, Priscilla Thompson, I suggest you get the story straight about Victor Igwe – the only real fact here is that he is African American. You may want to start with his contract; 45 Paid Vacation Day Per Year, Hundreds of accumulated vacation hours, thousands of accumulated Sick Hours, no different for Priscilla Thompson, Julie Brue, to mention a few. Sadly there are “few” good employees (keyword “few”) and unfortunately their efforts are tarnished by the rest of the garbage. There’s no fixing the City of Miami – the culture of corruption is embedded well into its structure.

305soldier
305soldier

You guys had a chance to get him when he was taking gas from a city card for personal use. That was ten years ago, the monster has now grown into miilions in mismanagement and defrauding the taxpayers.

Mayor Corrupt?
Mayor Corrupt?

What's up with Regalado? He is a novice mayor with a low IQ and corrupt friends.

Regalado is a crook
Regalado is a crook

Tomas Regalado and his friends and campaign manager have been raping the taxpayers for years.

Anyone notice Regalado trying to give the Marine Stadium site to his buddy Manny Puch, the shyster lawyer?

Guest
Guest

None of that stuff yoiu mentioned can be pegged on Regal.

Mikeabo
Mikeabo

Only 5 pages this article is way to short

CHARTERREFORMNOW
CHARTERREFORMNOW

Small mind, just because the old County Mayor and the new County Mayor share the same first name, that does not make the new Mayor a "virtual carbon copy" of the old Mayor. Why don't you try researching the issue. If you did, you would find that the New Mayor was the Old Mayor's loudest critic on the County Commission, and not just recently, since 2004 when they were both elected. Really, comments like that really put into question your credibility, assuming you had any to begin with.

El_Bananero
El_Bananero

Regalado has never answered what he did with Torriente's briefcase. You did not mention that in your story.

305soldier
305soldier

Thank you for writing what the Propaganda Herald refuses to. Its a shame that we live in such a clueless city. A city that we allow these crooks to walk in and stuff their pockets with taxpayer money. Only 10 to 15% percent of the population here votes

How do these crooks get elected? pastellitos. Read the http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com...local politician talks about voting scams.

Fcking incredible!!

Regalado bites
Regalado bites

Tomas Regalado has been a total failure as Mayor. The City must reduce pay and benefits to its 4,200 employees. In fact, Regalado must get new novice City Manager to fire over 500 employees with the worst attitudes.

Will Regaldo and Martinez be men and fire 500 slackers?Or will they be cowards?

Miamian
Miamian

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Insiders know how bad things really are and the bloggers are doing a pretty good job in uncovering all the dirt under Regalado's regime. Highly qualified staff are jumping ship or being laid off for not doing the dirty dealings asked of them. That will result in many lawsuits and cost taxpayers. The city is scrambling to find good talent in many department and the cronies are destroying the little good that existed. All of this will have long time repercussions to get the City to bounce back. Tim: Regalado is close to Braman, so in this case, Braman is not the man for the recall. If we wait on that, it will never happen. Braman needs Regalado to build his Kia dealership in Wynwood and who knows where else.

Nan1052
Nan1052

This is an example of why I'm so glad to no longer live in Miami (Mee-ah-mee)

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

welcome to the banana republic

nepotism that how you get a job in miami  just ask the city workers

"a college degree does not guarantee a job"

Nepotism in the workplace

Under Florida law, public officials are banned from "appointing, promoting, employing, advancing or advocating for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement in or to a position in the agency in which he serves or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative." For example, if a municipal chairperson recommends or appoints his daughter for a clerical position in his office, then he is running afoul of Florida nepotism law

Under Florida law, the legal definition of what constitutes a relative for the purposes of nepotism in public employment is clearly defined. In fact, the law provides a laundry list of familial labels that constitute nepotism. These labels are "father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother or half sister.

Jhonny Seafood
Jhonny Seafood

uhh if memory serves me correct Teele shot himself in the NEW TIMES lobby

DaGuerre
DaGuerre

Angel Zayon is 30 years old? Better check that.

loveboat2010
loveboat2010

Thanks to people like you this just may happen, a small but meaningful dent on the banana republic..

Epw101
Epw101

Did you even read the article?? Employees are not even mentioned in the story.... Move on already... We were decimated last year to the turn of over 25% per employee....

Julian Munoz
Julian Munoz

Greed and corruption are an American pastime! The "me" culture is what helped construct the fable story of an American Dream.

Jose D. Duran
Jose D. Duran

Teele shot himself in the lobby of the Herald building after talking with DeFede over the phone, who taped the conversation without Teele's knowledge and was subsequently fired from the paper for doing so.

seep
seep

Memory does not serve you correct(ly).

 
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