Julio Robaina Crony Gets $125,000 Annual Salary To Run Hialeah Public Housing
|Julio Ponce hanging at Julio Robaina's campaign HQ.|
In addition to his annual salary, Ponce gets a $900 monthly car allowance and $8,000 a year in covered expenses. If he is fired without cause, Ponce will get a 12-month severance package or six months severance if he is fired with cause. If he resigns, he gets a three month severance.
Not bad for a guy who has been accused of using the Hialeah Housing Authority to promote political campaigns. In 1999, when Ponce successfully ran for a city council seat, an opponent accused him of using his position as the authority's board chairman to round up elderly voters who depended on the city for housing.
When he lost re-election in 2003, a private investigator working on behalf of another candidate, interviewed dozens of public housing residents who claimed Ponce's wife had intimidated them into voting for her husband. A subsequent criminal investigation by a special state prosecutor (the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office recused itself) uncovered several irregularities in how absentee ballots were collected, but did not find enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime.
Since then, Ponce has primarily focused his political activities running a committee that indirectly supports Robaina initiatives, such as opposing slot machines at parimutual sites unless Hialeah Racetrack was included and eliminating term limits in Hialeah.
|Hialeah Housing employees Tony Quesada (top right), Iliana Sanabria (bottom right), and Juliette Almeida (bottom left) having a fun time at Robaina central.|
Ponce has been a regular visitor at Robaina's campaign headquarters for the county mayor's race, as well as other housing employees, including property manager Tony Quesada, hot lunch director Iliana Sanabria, and assistant hot lunch director Juliette Almieda. It would be interesting to know how much time Ponce and his subordinates have spent stumping for Robaina when they should be handling the city's public housing affairs.
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