Kendrick Meek Should Be Worried About Dennis Stackhouse

Congressman Kendrick Meek better keep a close eye on what happens to Dennis Stackhouse, the Boston developer who's been criminally charged on multiple counts of grand theft and organized scheme to defraud.

Local law enforcement officials accuse Stackhouse of stealing $942,000 set aside to build a biopharmacutical park and create jobs in Liberty City that never happened. Stackhouse was already facing criminal charges in a seperate investigation that found he illegally reimbursed employees for campaign contributions they made to Commissioner Dorrin Rolle's 2006 re-election campaign.

Stackhouse's racket wouldn't have gotten off the ground without the help of some of Miami-Dade's most influential Black political leaders, including Meek. The senate candidate championed federal funding for the biotech park when Stackhouse was paying his mother, former U.S. Congresswoman Carrie Meek, $40,000 in consulting fees and providing her with a Cadillac Escalade to drive around in.

When asked if Stackhouse would be pressed to squeal on public officials who participated in his criminal mischief, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katharine Fernandez-Rundle told me: "We're hopeful if he has leads and informations on others that we will be able to pursue it."

Back in 2007, in a Miami Herald article exposing Stackhouse's

double-billing scheme, Kendrick Meek insisted there was "absolutely

no connection" between his efforts to win federal funding for the

project and his mom's involvement with the developer. The congressman

asserted that Carrie Meek never asked him to dole out federal dollars

to the biotech park.

Well you don't have to be a superstar ace detective to figure out that momma Meek doesn't really need to ask her son to do anything. She just has to show up the same way Vincenzo Pentangeli did before his brother Frank was set to testify against Michael Corleone in the Godfather II.

So it doesn't surprise me that Stackhouse's criminal defense lawyer is Larry Handfield, who is going to do his best to keep his client from dropping a dime on the Meeks and Rolle. After all, Handfield was vice-chairman of the James E. Scott Association when Rolle was still the agency's chief executive and Stackhouse had given a $10,000 donation to the non-profit. Handfield and Rolle also served on the board of the Public Health Trust when they voted in favor of opening a public clinic inside the failed biotech park. The facility was never opened.

And even if the ongoing criminal investigation doesn't touch him, Kendrick Meek's support of the failed project and his mother's connections to Stackhouse is going to hurt him in the primary and general elections.

Click on the link below to read Stackhouse's arrest warrant.

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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.