Vote Yes On Question #56 And Fight Public Corruption

Norman Braman's advice to voters notwithstanding, there is a measure on the ballot that deserves a resoundingly emphatic YES! And that is the question asking voters to make the Miami-Dade Inspector General's office a permanent part of the county's home rule charter -- in effect our local constitution. By punching yes, the county's watchdog agency -- which deserves credit for recovering $175 million in stolen taxpayer funds and sending more than 215 public trust betrayers to jail during its 12-year existence -- could never be abolished by the county commission.

Some of the notorious public corruption cases handled by the inspector general include:

Last week, we interviewed Christopher Mazzella, the county's inspector general, to get his take on why his office should be woven into the home rule charter. Here is what he had to say:

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Michael Wind
Michael Wind

 perhaps it should be done in a more efficient way,bay harbor islands,case and point,the most corrupt town in america,hundreds of businesses operating without any control,not paying taxes,under the town hall protection,michael szafransky operated from 1111 kane concourse,unlicensed contractors doing work daily,licensed contractors operating without a permit,same group running the town and no one else can break in,in case of anything police are using cell phones to know what to do,police officer beck beat up his girlfriend and got promotion,just interview police officer that left the town.........



While I dont disagree with the need to keep the OIG around, don't be so quick to praise Mr Mazella as he is not without fault. Case in point, "The 2007 arrest of a prominent former Miami banker for defrauding the Miami-Dade Housing Agency". That sounds great but what you fail to see is that Mr Mazella was nothing more than a tool to cover up the misapproation of five million dollars of HUD monies by George Burgess. The art that is in question was part of the "art in public places program" that is required of anyone building government projects.

Ask yourself this Frank, if the case was such a strong case, why, four years after the arrests, hasn't the case gone to trial yet?

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