Cesar Carasa Convicted of Sweet Talking Ladies On Taxpayer's Dime
Cesar Carasa's smooth tongue didn't do him any good in court. Late yesterday, a Miami-Dade
jury found the former West Miami mayor guilty of exploiting his official position. The loquacious Cuban American politician ran up more than $70,000 in calls to women in the Dominican Republic on his city-issued cell-phone. Prosecutors convinced jurors that Carasa then directed West Miami employees to have Sprint waive or reduce the cell phone charges.
Shortly after his arrest, New Times interviewed a few of the women Carasa had dialed in the DR, including one young lady who claimed to have been his girlfriend for a brief period of time. Gov. Charlie Crist suspended him from office, but that didn't stop Carasa from running for reelection. He lost.
It is bad enough for a public official to use his city tools, in this case his cell phone, for personal use, But trying to have the city eliminate a personal debt only compounded this misuse of office and justifiably outraged the people of the City of West Miami.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.