Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez Ends up Paying Ethics Fine in Pennies and Nickles

A very petty local mayor couldn't help but carry through on whatever point he was trying to make by paying his $4,000 ethics fine in petty coins. 

Last year, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez was caught up in an ethics scandal over his business connections to Luis Felipe Pérez, a Hialeah jeweler who also dabbled in Ponzi scheming. Hernandez made loans totaling $180,000 to Pérez, and was paid back by the conman with an astounding 36 percent interest rate. 

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust investigated. Hernandez wasn't actually punished for those business dealings. Instead, he got a relative slap on the wrist for lying to the public. He was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine. It didn't help that Hernandez also refused to comply with the investigation, and then intentionally skipped hearings. 

Well, last November, the 54-year-old mayor had operatives show up at County Hall with 28 buckets filled with 400,000 pennies to pay the fine. Yep. The Ethics Commission reply: "Haha, yeah, no," basically. 

Here was one of the buckets, lest you forget: 

Instead of just writing a check like a rational person, Hernandez wouldn't back down. According to The Miami Herald, Hernandez and the Ethics Commission eventually agreed that he could pay in coins, but only if he counted and properly boxed the currency himself. 

So today, Hernandez had $3,500 worth of boxed pennies and $500 worth of boxed nickels delivered to City National Bank in Downtown Miami. The County keeps an account there. 

Let's talk about what this doesn't do: 

  • Make a valid point about anything whatsoever. 

Let's talk about what this does do:

  • Wastes the time of the taxpayer-funded Ethics Commission. 
  • Wastes the time of the employees of City National Bank, who really had nothing to do with anything. 
  • Brings ongoing attention to the fact that Hernandez was slapped with an ethics fine in the first place. 
  • Makes him look stubborn and petty as hell. 

Though, maybe the biggest thing this proves is that even when Hernandez decides to follow through on a plan (as petty as this one is) he can't even fully see it through. 

He originally showed up back in November with a bunch of pennies. Apparently he got tired of counting all of them and decided to take a shortcut by including nickels into the mix as well. 

Politicians can never follow through on any promises apparently.

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