Your Tax Dollars at Work

Miami-Dade County’s Office of the Inspector General released its annual report for fiscal year 2006 last week. For those who want a primer on corruption in Miami, the report is a great place to start.

The OIG does audits and investigations looking for waste and fraud. Among the 20 arrests the OIG made were both employees and contractors. Some highlights:

-- C. Anthony Vance, a Water and Sewer Department mailroom supervisor charged with 25 counts of fraud, money laundering, and official misconduct. Vance stole $1 million from the county by siphoning money through a postal account into his fake company’s coffers.

-- Four county employees were indicted for falsifying their grades in order to get tuition reimbursement checks from the county. The OIG found that $325,000 worth of improper reimbursements were made in 2005 alone. The program had gone without an audit since its inception in 1963.

-- Eighteen employees of the county fuel farm at Miami International Airport were charged with stealing jet fuel from the county and reselling it to an oil company in Medley, Florida.

-- Three developers were arrested following the OIG and Miami Herald investigations of corruption at the Miami-Dade Housing Authority. One of them, Raul Masvidal, used county money to purchase a sculpture of a watermelon slice and a sculpture of stacked teacups for $300,000. He made a phony invoice that listed only the teacup sculpture, which he priced at $287,493.

-- Emily Witt

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