Less than a week after New Times reported that Miami Springs Mayor Zavier Garcia was in foreclosure and has failed to pay both property and business taxes, prosecutors are eying his campaign finances.
Joe Centorino, the Miami-Dade assistant state attorney in charge of public corruption, confirmed that the matter is under review but declined comment.
At issue is Garcia's second source of income through a company called DRC Consulting.
Centorino's public corruption unit last probed Garcia back in 2006, when
as a councilman he was accused of removing campaign signs of an
opponent to District 6 Commissioner Rebeca Sosa.
Garcia had claimed he was enforcing a city code allowing only one sign
per property, records show. Though prosecutors found he "contributed to
an appearance of impropriety," he was given a warning.
Here is what we know about the latest inquiry.
Garcia's election campaign reports show:
Total contributions: $63,398.22
Total expenses: $25,539.43. But of this amount, $19,328.51 went back to
When asked how he derives income from DRC, Garcia wrote the following response:
"Your question related to "DRC" must be about the firm DRC Consulting,
Inc. whose President is David Custin. Pursuant to all applicable state,
county and local laws, I have timely filed all of my financial public
disclosure forms. All relevant, pertinent, and requisite public
information is contained in my Form 1, which you have requested and
accessed. In addition, Mr. Custin has never had a business interest nor
has ever lobbied before the City of Miami Springs, so the relevance of
your inquiry is suspect and without merit. Beyond this, you have
nothing to ask of me on this subject."
As for the surplus balance of $44,069.71 that has not been spent yet,
Garcia has until July 5, or 90 days from the date he was elected, to
disperse what remains in his campaign fund, according to election
Garcia ended his e-mail as follows:
"Thank you for respecting my wish to not deal with your type of
unprofessional 'free lance,' vendetta writing. All other credible,
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legitimate reporters are free, encouraged and welcomed to directly
contact me about my service to the people of Miami Spring, past, present
and future. Zavier Garcia, Mayor, Miami Springs."