Ethics Commission Fines South Dade Activists For Failing To Report Payments From Developers

Today, to avoid being formally charged with violating county ethics rules, the South Dade couple settled a complaint brought by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.

An ethics investigation revealed the Forbes did not disclose payments they received from various sources on their 2005, 2006, and 2007 financial disclosure forms as required by state law. Kentward is a board member on the Naranja Lakes Community Redevelopment Agency and Patricia sits on the South Bay Community Council.

Kentward told investigators he had no primary source of income, but state records show he is the registered agent for several corporations, including Citizens Integrated Voices Inspiring Changes (CIVIC) and the Naranja Optimist Club. He received more than $10,000 for consulting services and community organizing through the two entities. 

Kentward was also paid $26,000 by First National Bank of South Florida; $20,000 from law firm Holland & Knight; and $9,000 from lobbyist Sandy Walker. Patricia got $6,440 from CIVIC in 2006 and 2007. Kentward agreed to pay a $1,500 fine in exchange for the ethics commission dropping its complaint against him and his wife. 

In other action, the ethics commission:
  • Found no probable cause that North Miami City Councilman Michael Blynn violated city law when he used his city-issued credit card to buy an airline ticket for his wife to go with him on a trip involving city business. Blynn immidiately repaid the card.
  • Dismissed a complaint against Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff because it was not legally sufficient.
  • Ok'd Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin's new job as president and executive director of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce as long as he abstains from voting on matters that impact the chamber.

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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.