"I lost my child, and then right after that, he threw me out of my own house," she says, fighting back tears. "I really feel violated."

In a city full of accusations against Wallace, the most serious of all might be his own sister's tale of betrayal.

Marshall and Wallace were never close growing up. He was 13 years older and raised mostly by his grandparents. By the time Marshall was born, their mother had remarried and found more comfortable work as a city clerk. "I think that he resented that my mother raised me," Marshall says. "He was always away at school. I had to be reminded sometimes that I had a brother."

Former Homestead mayor Roscoe Warren (left), an unnamed youth, and Mayor Otis Wallace at a Martin Luther King Day ceremony.
City of Homestead
Former Homestead mayor Roscoe Warren (left), an unnamed youth, and Mayor Otis Wallace at a Martin Luther King Day ceremony.
South Dade High School teacher Israel Andrews in front of city hall last month.
Michael E. Miller
South Dade High School teacher Israel Andrews in front of city hall last month.

She was 20 and pregnant when Wallace won his first mayoral election. "We were proud of him," she remembers. "People thought that he was a good man back then."

Marshall gave birth to a son, Isiah. But her club foot hurt too much to return to her job as a nurse's aide. She went to her newly empowered brother for help. Instead of giving her a desk job, Wallace assigned his crippled sister to feeding the ducks in Fasulo Park. Twice every day she had to hose avian shit out of the park's pavilion. "It was just something to push me off," she says. She was eventually transferred to another job, but by then her health was failing, so she raised her son on her disability check.

While Wallace grew rich and accrued power, Marshall struggled to get by, and her son began getting into trouble. Isiah Marshall was arrested more than a dozen times and convicted of grand theft auto and obstructing an investigation in 2007.

On July 10, 2008, Gayle picked up Isiah's son for the day to watch her grandchild. Isiah was distracted and worried. "I'm a target," he told her. "If anything happens to me, it'll be the police."

It was the last time she saw him. Two days later, Isiah was shot and killed outside a local nightclub by Fabian Owens, an off-duty Florida City cop who had been fired from the Miami-Dade Police Department the previous year.

A police report says Isiah hit Owens twice with his car, leaving the officer afraid for his life. But internal affairs records show Owens had another potential motive: Isiah had just stolen his car speakers. Owens unloaded five bullets into Isiah at close range — but prosecutors later cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.

At the funeral, Wallace said Isiah was a "good man" and "the apple of Gayle's eye." But Marshall believes that her brother stonewalled her requests for an investigation. "What was [Owens] doing getting hired right after he was suspended from Metro-Dade?" she asks. Marshall thinks Florida City Police Chief Pedro Taylor — Wallace's godson — was doing someone a favor. "But he killed my child," she says.

Marshall didn't initially blame her brother for Isiah's death. But when Wallace suddenly evicted her from her childhood home last August 14, she began to rethink things.

According to police reports, Wallace was the one to call the cops on his sister. He said he had power of attorney over the residence, even though he had never lived there. Marshall says if their ailing mother gave Wallace power of attorney, it was to take care of family properties in Georgia, not to dispossess his own sister.

Marshall was distraught by the eviction, but she has now put her faith in God — and the current FBI investigation.

(Wallace says he has no sympathy for his sister. "I can't believe that Gayle would stoop so low as to talk to you. My sister felt that we should just give her a free house. That's nice work if you can get it.")

As Marshall finishes her tale, there's a knock on her door. A young girl with dirty hair comes in to buy one of Marshall's pickled eggs for 50 cents. Marshall's cousin, Isaac Booker, fishes it out with a slotted spoon.

"He has everything," Marshall says, returning to the subject of her brother and the eviction. "Why did he need my house?"

Even now, she is conflicted over what should happen to Wallace. "I could forgive him," she admits. "But if he's done wrong, then he should be punished. I just want justice. He ain't above the law."

"Yeah, he is," Booker snarls.

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11 comments
g3j5
g3j5

what if he had her son killed... and if u stay in Florida city you know how this shit is they jus start building shit down here lol them ugly ass trees they put up that nigga pocketing all the money put his sister out and he got millions talkin bout he be at the football games he should be at every game its fuckin 120$ to play this shit is corrupt down here only thing the police do is ride around and fuck hoes

Pj3x71
Pj3x71

Mayor Otis Wallace is a very honest hard working man that i have none for quit some time. I meet him when my kids start playing football at the park, where he spend lots of hour cheering and supporting our kids.Continue doing your job that you have done so well..... I here the same guy that went to the FBI is also a convicted felon himself, that also sold and use drugs himself...

runrandrand
runrandrand

WHY IS THIS USELESS STORY IN IT'S THIRD WEEKEND CYCLE? THE NEWS IS EVEN SLOWER THEN THE DAYTONA RACE START THAT WASN'T-----! MAYBE THE HERALD PRESSES SHOULD INK UP AND START PRINTING COUNTERFIT MONEY TO HELP THE BANKRUPT CITY---WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Hym
Hym

Damn! The New Times sure does have a way and a tone to how they write these character assassinating stories. I have never met Mr. Wallace and even though I did not graduate from high school, I can read. I can definitely read through this bull and see that the New Times failed to substantiate the title of the article. Other than putting his sister out of the house, the story reads like a desperate attempt to sell newspapers. I must admit though, it was entertaining.

Dannykeehan
Dannykeehan

Martin Luther King will be turning in his grave. give a poor man the same job and leave it for 28 years, then at the end of it find out if he has change. i bet he will?

Joy
Joy

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jtp12
jtp12

Good job Mike Miller. If you had the time, I am sure you could uncover even more. All the land, hotel/motel, real estate transactions should be investigated in that area.This is exactly what is wrong with America today. This whole scenario infiltrates our entire system. Unfortunately, it is investigated and then nothing is ever done.We just need more good reporters like you. Power, money, and corruption. Will it ever end?

Oh, one last thing, do you have a bodyguard?

husterredt
husterredt

typical in Florida City & Homestead, corruption is everywhere, Bateman is not far behind, actually he is partners with Wallace, Berrones and Henschel, its about time the FBI looks intoit..Good Job, Get them all!!!!!!!!!!!

Kcgriefs
Kcgriefs

So since he makes an appearance at a park filled with constituents he is corruption free? I am not sure what is weaker, your spelling or your logic.

Bebep
Bebep

A desperate attempt to sell their FREE newspaper.

Congratulations on not graduating high school.

Ash
Ash

You might be able to read but perhaps you have a problem with comprehension. It's sad because he did many admirable things (as this article points out). He couldn't resist the temptation of corruption. He's slippery but they all get caught eventually.

 
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