Best Political Miscalculation - 2006
The seven-million-dollar fire fee settlement
Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and City Manager Joe Arriola cut a sweetheart deal with their buddy and prominent local attorney Hank Adorno and his seven clients. They thought Miami taxpayers wouldn't notice. They were so wrong. Manny and Joe found themselves in the middle of the biggest scandal to hit Miami City Hall since Cesar Odio ran Dinner Key. And they certainly underestimated the public outrage that the fire fee debacle would generate in the Magic City. Chants of "Joe must go!" resonated throughout the subtropics. But Manny held on to his extroverted chief administrator, even though portions of Circuit Judge Peter Lopez's ruling nullifying the seven-million-dollar settlement stated that "all parties directly involved in settlement negotiations" knew they were trying to bamboozle the taxpayers. So now Manny has lost his golden-boy glimmer, while Arriola, who has announced his retirement, seems to have lost his mind.