Hialeah has long been known for voting shenanigans.
First, in 1993, a judge ordered a new election after determining camps for both
Mayor Raul Martinez and challenger Nilo Juri had participated in absentee
ballot tampering. Twelve years later, federal HUD officials investigated
then-Hialeah Housing Authority director Alex Morales for forcing housing
employees to campaign during working hours and instructing building managers to
hand-deliver ballots with instructions on whom to vote for. Though the feds recommended Morales be put on administrative leave, it never happened. And he was never charged.
During that tumultuous election, 18-year-old Katharine
Cue voted for the first time. When she registered to vote September 28, 2005,
she listed her address at 360 W. 50th St. in Hialeah, a three-bedroom residence
owned by George and Teresita Fuente.
At the time, Cue's driver's license listed her address at 19195 Mystic Pointe Dr. in Aventura. That property is a two-bedroom condo owned by Cue's mother, a Hialeah city employee.
One year later, Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina hired Cue as
an educational aide. Her employee contact information form and resumé showed
the Mystic Pointe condo as her home address. But on her employment application,
she wrote a third address: 874 W. Fourth St., in Hialeah, a three-bedroom house
owned by her maternal grandparents.
Robaina insisted Cue was living in his city when she was appointed because the city clerk verified her residency despite the fact Cue own driver's license, her resume and her own hand-writing showed she lived in Aventura. "She would not have been appointed otherwise," he says. "The council would never have voted for her."
This past February 12, three months after the appointment, Cue changed her driver's license to reflect the 360 W. 50th St. address. Riptide stopped by the salmon-colored single-story abode shortly before 9 a.m. this past Friday.
A lanky gentleman with graying black hair said Cue, who is running for re-election this November, was asleep and to call her in 30 minutes. A half-hour later, Cue answered the residence's home phone.
So, she lives there.
Yes, she says. George Fuente is her father-in-law.
And what about the Aventura condo?
"That is a place I go to sometimes."