North Bay Village is a place where corruption and unethical behavior rolls in with the tide on a regular basis.
The small three-island city once saw four elected officials indicted and removed from office in one fell swoop.
But that hasn't stopped Mayor Oscar Alfonso from throwing ethics into the murky bottom of Biscayne Bay. It has come to Banana Republican's attention -- via one of our favorite government agitators, Fane Lozman -- that Alfonso voted to use money from the city police department's forfeiture fund to reemploy a village cop who was fired for sucking at his job.
It didn't occur to Alfonso that being the police officer's pal might constitute a conflict-of-interest.
According to an email from village Vice-Mayor Rey Trujillo to city manager Matthew Schwartz and city attorney Joseph Geller, Alfonso should have abstained from voting during a special city commission meeting this past January for the purpose of rehiring Sgt. Steve Abramson using the city's share of federal forfeiture assets funds -- money that comes from the seizure of ill-gotten goods.
Trujillo cited documents from a 2006 internal affairs probe that included surveillance of Alfonso hanging around with Abramson and other officers late at night at two bars, a grocery store and a gas station. According to the file, on December 14, 2006, "at 12:14 a.m., Sgt. Abramson and the entire shift, along with [then-Commissioner] Alfonso met at Joey's Market until 1:15 a.m. Sgt. Abramson then gave Commissioner Alfonso a ride back to the Hess station."
At the time Abramson was under investigation for allegedly lying to then-Police Chief Scott Israel about sharing information about confidential undercover investigations with Alfonso and others. During the probe, Alfonso refused to give a statement without a subpoena and said that if called in for questioning, "he may not be able to remember anything anyway."
During his time with North Bay Village, Abramson has been investigated by IA 14 times, including attending a court hearing in his uniform on behalf of a suspect accused of assaulting a deputy sheriff and failing to report a hit-and-run fatality crash.
Read Trujillo's emails and other documents pertaining to Alfonso and Abramson below: