Richard Pulido and His Miami Lakes Town Council Buddies Hide From The Sunshine
|Three Miami Lakes councilmen walked into a bar and didn't talk town business. (Wink, wink).|
"We were just four buddies sharing an order of chicken wings and beer," he insists. "There is nothing that precludes us from being friends."
But alas, there is a state law prohibiting officials of the same elected body from getting together in private to discuss a matter they will vote on in the near future -- an ordinance punishable by 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, and removal from office.
And Pulido's claims might be easier to believe if the beer-guzzling hadn't come less than an hour after the council meeting where Daubert, Hernandez, and Pulido were the only members to vote against changing the city's zoning board's membership criteria -- an issue that Bennett vocally opposed.
That certainly seemed an odd coincidence to Miami Lakes planning and zoning board chairman Tom McGrath, who happened to be at the bar. A source who was with McGrath but did not want to be identified provided photos of the clandestine chicken-wing snacking.
"They said there is going to be another hearing. I got the impression they would vote against it again because they said there was no reason the ordinance should move forward," McGrath says.
Furthermore, while McGrath was at the table, Bennett badgered the three members about why changing the zoning board's requirements was a bad idea. "He was talking directly to Daubert, Hernandez, and Pulido," McGrath says.
|Pulido, Hernandez and Daubert commiserating outside Government in the Sunshine.|
"We did not talk town business," Pulido says. "With all due respect to Mr. McGrath, his version is far-fetched and preposterous."
Someone is obviously lying. So we've hand-delivered copies of this story and the photos from the bar to Timothy Vandergiesen, a veteran prosecutor who was recently named to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's public corruption unit, as well as ethics commission chief Joe Centorino. We'll be following up in a few weeks to see if either watchdog takes action.
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