Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 9 a.m.
Antonio Junior, a local businessman who last year admitted to accepting and giving bribes, was full of information the day he debriefed anti-public-corruption law enforcers about his involvement in ripping-off Miami-Dade taxpayers.
In addition to dropping a dime
on his pal and ex-county Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler, Junior revealed his connection to a prominent local builder whose name regularly popped up in the affordable housing scandal
that won the Miami Herald
a Pulitzer prize.
According to a recently released report of Junior's "Queen for a Day" meeting on August 29 last year, Carey-Shuler's mule first met Juan Delgado, owner of general contracting firm Delant Construction, to get a piece of a contract to build a residential tower for the elderly in Liberty City. Delgado did not return a phone call seeking comment.
According to online databases
that track political contributions, Delgado has donated close to $45,000 to various congressional leaders' campaigns and political action committees fighting for a Democratic Cuba. He is also a regular donor to the re-election campaigns of incumbent county commissioners, and from 1987 to 1994 served on the Cuban American National Foundation's board of directors.
Delgado's company was hired in 2000 by the now-defunct MDHA Development Corp. to build Ward Towers
, a $16 million state-of-the-art assisted living complex for low-income elderly folks. But the project was plagued with problems throughout construction and Delant eventually walked off the job in a dispute with the nonprofit agency, formed by the county so it could qualify for state grants.
During his debriefing, Junior said Delgado paid him $20,000 for "security consulting" on the Ward Towers project. The convicted bribe-giver added he met Delgado through Alben Duffie, the nonprofit's then-chairman and another close friend of Carey-Shuler's. According to Junior, Delgado and Duffie, a central player
in the House of Lies scandal, were tight.
Delgado and Duffie were also close chums with Raul Masvidal, a well-known Miami banker and developer, who is awaiting trial for his alleged defrauding
of county government. He is accused of using county funds to pay for his personal purchase of two sculptures for $287,000. Investigators found the sculptures at Delant's storage yard in Medley.