Monday, March 9, 2009 at 9 a.m.
In the Fifties and Sixties, North Bay Village was a place where seedy mobsters and corrupt politicians came home to roost. At one point in its 63-year history, a law-enforcement report concluded North Bay Village, a man-made three-island city along the John F. Kennedy Causeway, had "Dade's largest concentration of undesirables."
The era cemented the village's reputation for criminal and political shenanigans that continues today with a former head of Miami-Dade's Democratic Party playing a lead role.
This past February 27, the North Bay Village City Commission, led by Mayor Oscar Alfonso, fired city attorney Robert Switkes and replaced him with Joe Geller, the former Democratic Party leader who had Alonso' job until he decided to run for a state house seat last year. Geller lost the election. Now a North Bay Village citizen is asking the Florida Commission on Ethics to investigate Geller's appointment.
In his February 28 letter to the commission, Richard Chervony alleges Geller and Alfonso have a conflict of interest since the ex-mayor helped the new mayor get elected. "The appointment of Mr. Geller would be equivalent to appointing him as a sixth-commissioner," Chervony wrote.
I have not yet spoken with Geller or Alfonso about Chervony's complaint, but as soon as I do I will post an update on what they have to say. In the meantime, check out my previous coverage of North Bay Village craziness here