Columns

No Appointment For Angel Gonzalez's Seat?

Newly elected Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez may have unwittingly scuttled plans to appoint a replacement for Angel Gonzalez, who last week resigned from the commission as part of his guilty plea deal with prosecutors.

Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff has called an emergency meeting for tomorrow to address the two commission vacancies. It was expected Sarnoff along with Suarez and new Vice-Chairman Frank Carrollo were going to select someone for Gonzalez's seat. The city will hold a special election in January for Michelle Spence-Jones' seat, which the suspended commissioner will run for.

But according to Daniel Ricker's Watchdog Report, Mayor Tomas Regalado says the city will likely have to do a special election for the Gonzalez seat too. Regalado claimed Suarez "tainted" that possibility when the new commissioner went on Spanish language radio following his runoff victory and spouted off about having spoken to Sarnoff and Carrollo about possible replacements to Gonzalez's seat.

If Suarez did indeed privately discuss city business with his new colleagues that would constitute a violation of Florida's sunshine law which requires elected officials to handle public matters in a public setting.

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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.