On Friday,New Times
published a three-month investigation into Miami Beach Fire Rescue (MBFR). It showed that MBFR leaders and other city officials ignored evidence of corruption. Millions of dollars in permit fees mysteriously went missing. And the two employees who did complain were forced out.
-Miami Beach Fire Department Is Aflame With Corruption and Abuse
Any such discussion will take place against a backdrop of city politics. Last week, commissioners narrowed down the list of potential city managers to three candidates. Meanwhile, with Mayor Matti Bower's third and final term expiring later this year, several city commissioners are eying her office.
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• Millions of dollars' worth of fire permit fees went missing or were written off by inspectors, including those now charged with taking roughly $25,000 from club Dolce.• City officials ignored repeated, detailed warnings about those missing funds.• Top fire officials were warned about inspectors taking bribes from a South Beach hotel to ignore thousands of dollars in code violations, but did nothing.• One powerful fireman, union president Adonis Garcia, has been accused of three assaults, bilking the county out of $76,000 in property taxes, and abusing his authority as a firefighter.• A female firefighter successfully sued the department over repeated sexual harassment, including semen-stained clothing and death threats, winning $700,000.• An African-American recruit was awarded $100,000 after alleging racial abuse, including being teabagged and called racial epithets by fellow firemen.