Another No-Confidence Vote for Timoney

Another No-Confidence Vote for Timoney

Filed under: News

Cops and little old ladies go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Take the recent letter e-mailed to the City of Miami's police union by two elderly women from Lyme, Connecticut.

"We have read with dismay that the Miami PD is 'outgunned' by some of the criminals and that AR-15s are needed," wrote the ladies, who are sisters. "However, we are appalled that apparently the police officers who want to carry AR-15s must purchase the guns themselves.

"Though we live on pensions and Social Security and are not wealthy, we would like to purchase one AR-15 rifle for a member of your police force — you decide — someone who patrols the more crime-ridden areas of Miami. We have gone onto the Internet and Google and found that some gun dealers offer a police discount and [we've] seen AR-15s for a bit more than $700. We hope to start a movement so that other people will step up and help the Miami PD."


But why did these women send the letter to Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar and not, say, Chief John Timoney or Miami Mayor Manny Diaz? The explanation comes at the end of the e-mail.

"P.S. We are aware of the lack-of-confidence vote regarding Chief Timoney and Dep. Chief Frank Fernandez," the ladies wrote. "No longer can things be hidden, because the Internet reveals all — good and bad. Therefore this is why we are contacting you and not [Timoney] or Mayor Diaz." — Tamara Lush

Schools Daze

Filed under: News

A war of words between Miami-Dade School Board member Marta Pérez and Superintendent Rudy Crew is getting nasty.

During the school board's September meeting, Perez raised the idea that Crew had a conflict of interest in recommending that the board approve a no-bid contract with Scientific Learning Inc., a scholastic software company that employs his son Russell as its business development coordinator. Crew bristled at Pérez's suggestion that he acted unethically.

That wasn't the end of it. In a September 17 memo, Pérez questioned the district's hiring of his daughter as a teacher. Crew responded in writing two days later that his daughter went through the same hiring process as every other first-year teacher. Four days later, Crew notified board members that he had retained Miami Attorney H.T. Smith to represent him after Pérez asked the district's ethics advisory committee and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office to determine if the superintendent's Scientific Learning recommendation represents a conflict of interest.

According to two memos she sent Crew on October 1, Pérez accuses him of making "derogatory and defamatory remarks" against her. In a recent telephone interview, Pérez claimed Crew is trying to discredit her. "All of this could have been avoided if he had disclosed what seems like common sense, which is that he hired his family members," Pérez said. New Times e-mailed a list of questions to Crew via schools spokesman John Schuster. The superintendent did not respond. — Francisco Alvarado

Cloak and Swagger

Filed under: Politics

Time was short for Ray Cantillo. Scribbling furiously, he finished filling out the forms to run against District 2 city Commissioner Marc Sarnoff within minutes of the 6:00 p.m. deadline. Small as the window was for his candidacy, Cantillo climbed through: On November 6, the ballot will feature Ray "Ambassador" Cantillo — written exactly that way. "He said that's what his nickname is," Miami elections official Dwight Danie said over the phone, "and a nickname is allowed to go on the ballot."

Not everyone agrees. Sarnoff says that by using the nickname, Cantillo gets away with assuming a title that he might or might not possess. "By allowing Mr. Cantillo to remain on the ballot as 'Ray "Ambassador" Cantillo,'" says Sarnoff, the city "is allowing him to hold himself out as an ambassador, not only in a title he no longer possesses, but a title that provides a cloak of notability."

Cantillo could not be reached for comment. His qualifying documents list his occupation as "Native American ambassador," describing that work as "political consulting." Though it remains unclear to whom, exactly, the 65-year-old is an ambassador, his Web site,, features photos of the heavily bearded Cantillo shaking hands with Bushes Jeb, George W., and George Herbert Walker, as well as Pope John Paul II and other notables. The site promises "election day victory or your money back."

Apparently, though, the ambassador is a few dollars short of taking his own medicine: The water bill Cantillo submitted as proof of residence has an unpaid balance of $22.37, and he signed an affidavit of financial hardship in order to avoid paying the $100 election qualifying fee. — Isaiah Thompson

Just Rip Off Saint Louis

"Commissioner Carlos Gimenez thinks the county should consider building a massive Ferris wheel at the Port of Miami.... We would like to counter-offer with another recycled idea: MVB's Miami's Gateway Arch to the Americas. Yes, it's a rip-off of the Saint Louis Gateway Arch, but it serves a specific purpose other than reminding everyone that Miami is the Gateway to the Americas ... it could act as a pedestrian bridge/tourist attraction between the Port of Miami and Watson Island.

Taken from: Miami Vision Blogarama (

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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.
Tamara Lush
Isaiah Thompson