Norman Braman's advice to voters notwithstanding, there is a measure on the ballot that deserves a resoundingly emphatic YES! And that is the question asking voters to make the Miami-Dade Inspector General's office a permanent part of the county's home rule charter -- in effect our local constitution. By punching yes, the county's watchdog agency -- which deserves credit for recovering $175 million in stolen taxpayer funds and sending more than 215 public trust betrayers to jail during its 12-year existence -- could never be abolished by the county commission.
Some of the notorious public corruption cases handled by the inspector general include:
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- The 2004 Miami International Airport fuel farm heist.
- The 2005 bust of a former circuit court judge for defrauding a program to help disadvantaged kids.
- The 2006 probe into abuse of the county's off-duty cop services.
- The 2007 arrest of a prominent former Miami banker for defrauding the Miami-Dade Housing Agency.
- The 2008 scam by a TSA employee to obtain free parking at Miami International Airport by claiming to be handicapped.
- The 2009 audit of a non-profit agency for inner city children ran into the ground by a former county commissioner.
- The 2010 investigation into high-ranking police officials moonlighting in Panama on the public dime.