Columns

The Avenging Angel of North Bay Village is Back

Early on in my ongoing tour of duty for New Times, I had the pleasure of telling the story of Fane Lozman, a Miami native who made a small fortune as a Chicago software engineer before coming home in 2003. 

That year Lozman settled into a nondescript houseboat off the waters of North Bay Village, a three-island city with an infamous history as a haven for the Mob and other Ne'er-do-wells.

It wasn't long before the former Marine aviator became the village's vigilant watchdog. A relentless agitator, Lozman regularly called out the corrupt behavior of the city's politicians at public meetings, created web-sites exposing their alleged misdeeds, and reported his findings to public corruption investigators.

His civic involvement led to the indictment and removal from office of four of the city's elected leaders on public corruption charges. Even a police chief resigned in disgrace after tangling with Lozman. Earlier this year North Bay Village agreed to pay Lozman $220,000 to settle a federal lawsuit he had filed against the city, claiming his civil rights were repeatedly violated as retaliation for his activism. 

After Hurricane Wilma destroyed the marina where Lozman parked his houseboat, he relocated north, to Riviera Beach, where he proceeded to expose graft and corruption in that city - a battle documented by Broward-Palm Beach News Times columnist Bob Norman. 

Today Lozman is back in North Bay Village, and rest assured, none of the city's current decision makers are happy about it, especially Mayor Oscar Alfonso -- who has emerged as Lozman's new target. 

He takes credit for creating www.adiosalfonso.com. "Alfonso is a disgrace," Lozman informs Banana Republican. "It's time for him to go." 

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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.