Opa-Locka could use some good news. Unfortunately, it's not forthcoming. This past July 26, the city's mayor Myra Taylor agreed to pay a $1,500 fine and receive a public reprimand from the Miami-Dade Ethics Commission.
An investigation revealed that in 2009 and 2010, when Taylor was vice-mayor, she engaged in voting conflicts by supporting a $5,000 funding resolution that benefited the non-profit corporation she heads. She also improperly influenced city officials to support a special event that paid more than $2,600 to her daughter, according to the probable cause complaint against her.
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Taylor's ethics troubles followed a May Riptide report about a separate ongoing public corruption probe of the Opa-Locka Police Department by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This is the mayor's second tour as the city's top elected official. Seven years ago, she was removed from office by then-Gov. Jeb Bush after she was criminally charged for defrauding the Internal Revenue Service.
She subsequently pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge, allowing her to run for office again. She lost a mayoral bid in 2006. But two years later, she was elected to the commission. Last year, she beat then-incumbent mayor Joseph Kelley.