Orlando Hernandez Accused of Swindling City of Hialeah, But El Duque Says "It's All Politics"

Would you like some controversy with your cognac?

Last night's celebrity-filled soirée at the Biltmore Hotel -- hosted by Hennessy in honor of Roberto Clemente -- took a strange twist when talk turned from the booze to a simmering baseball controversy in Hialeah. Accused earlier in the day of swindling the city out of thousands of dollars and depriving downtrodden kids of access to a public park, former Yankee pitcher Orlando "El Duque" Hernández insisted he had done nothing wrong.

"This is all politics," Hernández told Riptide. "People are attacking me and my school in order to tarnish [mayor] Carlos Hernandez, a person who is doing good things for the city. But they aren't going to succeed."

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.