A possible conflict has forced
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez to sit out the awarding of a $50
million contract to a local construction company that employs his son
Julio and uses his other son Carlos Jr. as its lobbyist. Munilla
Construction Management submitted the lowest bid out of seven
firms vying to be the general contractor on miscellaneous
construction projects at the county's airports. As Miami-Dade
government's chief executive, Gimenez is supposed to ultimately
decide if MCM gets the deal.
Instead, the mayor has relinquished his authority to preside over the contract to his deputy Jack Osterholt after receiving an ethics opinion on August 31 from Miami-Dade ethics commission Executive Director Robert Meyers:
"If such authority exists then you should delegate this power to another county employee to remove you from the decision-making chain." Meyers also advised Gimenez to have a commissioner recommend the contract's approval before the full county commission.
But MCM probably won't have a problem getting approved. The firm is a regular campaign donor to commissioners' re-election campaigns and regularly wins lucrative multi-million dollar contracts from local government despite engaging in some shifty behavior to pad the amount of money it makes.