| Columns |

Thank You for Your Paid Support

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Recently dismissed ethics complaints against three lobbyists provide a glimpse into how developers will pay off so-called community activists to win support for their projects.

In finding that zoning lawyers Juan Mayol, Joseph Goldstein, and Richard Perez did in fact register to lobby on behalf of their client Q2 -- a group of developers that want to build residential homes just outside of Florida City -- the ethics commission exposed another problem.

Turns out that Mayol "did not disclose $30,000 paid to South Miami-Dade community activist Kentward Forbes to bring speakers to public meetings to show support for the projects," according to a December 9 press release from the ethics commission.

The watchdog agency further determined "that many lobbyists have interpreted current law as not requiring a listing of fees paid to community organizers as lobbying expenditures." The ethics commission sent Mayol a "letter of guidance" clarifying that he needs to list payments like the one to Forbes, a board member of the Naranja Community Redevelopment Agency, on his expenditure reports.

Developers doling out cash to community exploiters masquerading as activists is nothing new. Remember the Related Group paid $100,000 to Barbara Carey-Shuler and Barbara Hardemon for "community outreach" when the developer was seeking approval for its Mercy Hospital condo project.

It' not illegal, but it is shady as hell.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.