South Miami Sleaze

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Alex Izaguirre

Laz Parking is a local firm that contracts with the City of South Miami to issue parking tickets and operate meters. That means nobody likes 'em.

And if you believe a recently canned meter maid (meter butler? meter macho?) named Michael Perdomo, that contempt is deserved.

The 27-year-old former Laz employee claims the firm has deprived the city of thousands of dollars in ticket revenue by regularly voiding tickets, charging the city for man hours when no meter maid was on duty, and hired the city's controversial former parking vendor.

"The company is ripping off South Miami," says Perdomo, who claims he was fired for knowing too much. "If the city were to do an audit, Laz Parking would be in trouble."

According to spreadsheet Perdomo provided New Times, which he says was generated by Laz, the company voided 171 citations between November 21, 2008 and this past April 6. According to the list, there was nothing wrong with the meters and the tickets were voided as a "courtesy." As a result, the city lost out on $3,078 in revenue.

One guy who got a free pass: Ronald Stroyne, a South Miami resident who owned the parking contract until 2004. That was the year Stroyne wore a wire and wrote a $1,300 blank check to Mayor Horace Feliu as part of a criminal probe. Feliu accepted the check and was subsequently arrested and charged with accepting an illegal campaign contribution.

The mayor beat the charges and in 2005 sued Stroyne and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office for false arrest. A federal judge dismissed Feliu's complaint two years later.

According to emails Perdomo gave Riptide, Stroyne asked Laz Parking's director of operations, Jose Fernandez to waive the citations. Fernandez then instructed Perdomo to kill the tickets.

"Take care of this," Fernandez wrote to Perdomo this past Janaury 29.

What's more, according to another spreadsheet Perdomo provided, Stroyne is on the Laz payroll. His salary and job are not known.

Fernandez and Feliu did not respond to a list of questions emailed to their personal email accounts or two phone messages requesting comment at their offices. Stroyne did not respond to an interview request sent to his AOL email account.


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14 comments
RW
RW

I worked there for a year and a half so here is some clarifying info. When I worked, there was   basically an 8am to 8pm enforcement time. We had about 3 to 4 Parking Enf. officers working during the 12 hr shift. We did void out tickets as a courtesy to people. We did not have a minimum of tickets to write like most agencies so we were told to be courteous. People were very happy to see that we were not the common stereotypical idea of a "meter maid". We did void out tickets sometimes because things happen and we were told to use judgement. So if you have 3 to 4 people working in 12 hrs and we each void out a ticket or two a few days a week you can see where the math comes in. We were part of the Police Dept. because South Miami is a city with a small budget so it made sense and we were under their supervision. We all had to undergo a thorough background check and had to be certified pre hiring .We not only checked meters but we also wrote tickets for people parking their cars and obstructing traffic. We also did the unthinkable thing which most Parking Enf Depts dont do which is monitor the valets. Most other cities turn a blind eye to Valet companies parking your car in places they shouldnt, obstructing the traffic making other people wait so they can make a few dollars, getting you a ticket and than tearing it up etc. As far as your corruption theories, go to Miami Beach and you will see how corrupt the valet system is because Valet companies pay a lot of money to the City to be there. My point is we looked out for you not for the Cities pocketbook or our own. Ron did blow the whistle on the Mayor because he was getting shaken down. He threw away years of business and was looked at as basically a rat because he did the right thing. He did bring in people in his place because he was more or less run out of town. HE RUINED A CORRUPT MAYORS CAREER. Laz had a good reputation with the City and the neighborhood organizations when I was ther so this "news" is pretty laughable to me. I dont know who this Perdomo is but his claims are ridiculous. Your claiming corruption on a company that was brought in because of a guy standing up to corruption. I had a good experience working and I can count on my hand how many bad instances I had in a year and a half. I think that most people were happy that we gave a break sometimes and did other things besides trying to walk around trying to write the most tickets.

Juanvega
Juanvega

google "Alcoholes De Colombia S.A." para mas

Julia Adams
Julia Adams

Once you are aware of the problem and you do not take affirmative and severe steps to cure it, then you become part of the problem yourself...where is the State Attorney when you need him?.

Samuel McNamara
Samuel McNamara

Who is this Michael Miller? Is he blaming all of the allegation and/or assertions printed in this article to "politics", that is the biggest bull that I've read on this blog, if there weren't facts to back up this story, the NewTimes wouldn't have printed it.

Let's not blame everything on "politics" before we look into the facts and make our conclusion.

But just to blamed it on "politics" is just a way to cover it up.

I'm not taking sides, since I do not know the real truth, but let the City look into the facts and then decide who is right or wrong. But it cannot be ignored.

Michael Miller
Michael Miller

Print the truth! Are you kidding me? Remember the movie "A few good men" when Jack Nicholson said "You can't handle the truth." Maybe New Times should dig deeper into the real stuff that is going on by the political operatives in South Miami

PS. Good story, but I'll betcha at the end of the day, that it ain't any big deal.

FYI Sharon Miller and I are not related

Robert Pierce
Robert Pierce

The word is that those in City Hall which might be LAZ Parking allies are scrambling for cover and that many of the residents are demanding an investigation on this whole matter. Francisco Alvarado did what the Miami Herald and the Community Newspaper couldn't or wouldn't, interview the source and print the truth.

Robert Pierce
Robert Pierce

The word is that those in City Hall which might be LAZ Parking allies are scrambling for cover and that many of the residents are demanding an investigation on this whole matter. Francisco Alvarado did what the Miami Herald and the Community Newspaper couldn't or wouldn't, interview the source and print the truth.

Maurice Pepper
Maurice Pepper

You, as our elected officials owe it to the residents of the City to investigate and do a real forensic inspection into these allegations. Now that you are conscious of the problems and you if fail to follow up and take care of them, then you will also become part of the problem.

Antonio Aguilar
Antonio Aguilar

LAZ Parking has to pay Ronald Stroney because his personal relationship with Comm. Valerie Newman and Brian Beasley. That's is the only reason that their contract is untouchable and will not be canceled, no matter what they do or no perform.

Paul Wagner
Paul Wagner

If we had any of our elected officials with any kind of moral fiber, they would call for an investigation from the State Attorney's Office. According to this article, LAZ Parking is essentially embezzling our money by not providing the coverage (hours of enforcement) that they have been contracted for.

Sharon Miller
Sharon Miller

This article fails to report about the issue of LAZ Parking ordering their Parking Enforcement Officers NOT to enforce the parking meters inside Richman's Parking Garage, therefore giving the garage operator free rain and no accountability to the City. Is this corruption or what?..These is our monies that they are playing with.

Kirk Wolf
Kirk Wolf

LAZ Parking uses the South Miami Police as a tool of intimidation against those that would want to file a complaint against them.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This sounds like Frank Pintado's Miami Beach operation before his company lost the contract.

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