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A Tomas Regalado Employee Goes to Jail During Obama's Last Visit

Next time President Barack Obama is in town, Ada Rojas may want to steer clear of his motorcade. Or hope that her boss, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, melts his icy relationship with the city's boys in blue before the next presidential visit.

On October 11, Regalado's resident affairs and special events coordinator found herself blocked from passing through the intersection at SW 8th Street and 58th Avenue when the commander-in-chief made a pit stop at El Mago De La Frita.


She allegedly refused to drive her 2010 Volkswagon Jetta around the blockade so a Miami police officer arrested her for failure to obey a law enforcement officer. Rojas and her lawyer Lida Rodriguez-Tasseff declined comment.

According to Rojas' arrest report, a Miami police officer instructed her to back up her Jetta and take an alternate route via SW 9th Street. Instead, she allegedly turned off the engine, got out, and started snapping pictures of the officer. "I work for the mayor's office and you have no right to block the street," she said, according to the police report.

The cop again ordered her to leave the area, but she didn't budge, claiming that she posed "no threat." That's when she was cuffed and hauled off to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

The reported also noted, "a strong odor of alcohol was noticed on defendant's breath."



Rojas' lawyer is no stranger to taking on the Miami police department. Rodriguez-Tasseff is a former president of the Miami chapter of the American Civil Liberities Union who battled with ex-police Chief John Timoney over his heavy-handed police tactics during the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas summit.

For now, Rojas is not in trouble with Regalado, says the mayor's spokesman Pat Santangelo. "He is going to let the process play out," Santangelo says.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.