Miami's Five Worst City and County Managers Who Prove Merrett Stierheim Wrong

3. Donald Warshaw, city manager (1998 - 2000)

Career low: In 2001, he pled guilty to stealing $70,000 from the children's charity he founded and chaired while he was Miami's police chief and city manager, respectively. It was an epic fall for Warshaw, who presented himself as a crusading reformer when then-Mayor Joe Carrollo appointed him in 1998. Carrollo canned him in 2000 over Warshaw's refusal to fire the police chief at the time.

Months later, investigators arrested him for charging $86,563 in personal expenses on credit card accounts belonging to the police pension fund and Do The Right Thing, a city-funded non-profit that teaches poor children the virtues of being honest. Between 1993 and 1999, he used the charity to support a lavish lifestyle for himself and his younger mistress that included tickets to Florida Panthers hockey games, dinners at swanky restaurants like Joe's Stone Crab, and shopping sprees at fancy department store Lord & Taylor's. Warshaw was sentenced to a year in federal prison.

Annual public salary: $138,000

Pension: None. Warsaw forfeited his yearly $128,800 pension as result of his criminal charges.

sergio pereira.jpg
​​2. Sergio Pereira, county manager (1986 - 1988)

Career low: In 1987, he was indicted in the national-headline-grabbing "hot suits" criminal probe. Pereira - who succeeded Stierheim after his first go-around as county head honcho - was slapped with three felony theft charges for buying stolen designer suits from a cut-rate clothier. Emeterio Marino-Pijeira sold famous-label duds to public officials, police officers, even a state prosecutor, from a Miami duplex, but Pereira was the only one to get popped.He was suspended, but quickly reinstated when the charges were dropped 40 days after his arrest.

However, in 1988, Miami-Dade's first Cuban American county manager was forced to resign as a result of another scandal. A Miami Herald investigation uncovered a developer had included Pereira as a partner in 1985 land deal when he was an assistant county manager. After the county commission rezoned the property, Pereira and his partners flipped it for a $608,000 profit. He personally made $127,878 without investing a penny. Despite federal authorities opening a criminal inquiry, Pereira was never criminally charged for his sweetheart deal.

Annual public salary: $114,000

Pension: None.

1. Cesar Odio, city manager (1985-1996)

Career low: In July 1996, Odio was caught on tape by government snitch and former friend Manohar Surana counting out 30 $100 bills in his city office. Odio complained he was expecting five grand; payola to buy himself a sweet Rolex watch. The money was Odio's first cut from a monthly $12,500 kickback he was splitting with Surana and lobbyist Jorge De Cardenas. Except it was all set-up by the F.B.I in the biggest public corruption probe in Miami history. Odio was charged on multiple counts of embezzlement and a lone charge of obstruction of justice. He pled guilty to the latter crime and served a one-year prison term. Oh, and the corruption under Odio's watchful greedy eye plunged the city into a $68 million deficit.

Annual public salary: $116,900

Pension: $58,166 per year.

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Are you kidding me?  Joe Arriola was the only manager besides Steve Shive that actually ran a business.  Burgess is a government lacky that led Carlos Alverez, anothe student of government to slaughter. Javier Souto, Peneles' cheif of staff was the one that orchestrated the deal bringing in Burgess after Shiver resigned.  Now he is director or president of the Dade Foundation and Alfredo Mesa is the ED of the Marlins trust.  Do you think for a minute that the stadium at any cost was not going to be built.  None of the guys have ever ran anyhing in their life except suck of the government tit so you get what you pay for.  Shiver was no saint but at least he stood up for what was right.  I worked at transit for over 25 years and Shiver was the only manager that I dealt with that really made a difference.  beaurocrats like burgess led to the largest recall over 88% of any Mayor in the country.  That should tell you something.  And btw, Georgem Burgess with his $400k package quite the next day....


The whole process relating to the disgraced people in public office over the years reeks of self interest and self gain. These people seem to have no sense of probity decency and responsibility for the public at large, and don't care what anyone thinks of their behaviour.

You get the politicians you deserve, is one way of looking at this, and certainly this has been the case in the past. Does any body care about anything apart from self interest in this area.I doubt it. When enough of you do and show it, things will improve.

In the meantime scandals will continue, self interest of the few will prevail, and huge sums of money will be wasted on the ambitions and greed of the few, whilst you all look the other way.

Many who do care can't speak English, or don't read the news, and only watch mindless tv. 

Thats what we get when we don't care!

$3 BILLION diverted
$3 BILLION diverted

George Burgess acted like he was the chief lobbyist for Jeffrey Loria the Canadian owner of the Marlins. Many managers stole and made stupid decisions but Burgess left the County taxpayers forced to pay over $3 BILLION for a stadium and garage 100% controlled by a foreign based private company.

rita rodriguez
rita rodriguez

Just because there have been bad city managers doesn't mean we're better off with a strong mayor. Past mayors were involved in the selections of those managers.  If they're worried about the so-called loophole of having no recall process in the Charter, then just add a couple of sentences to the Charter so there is a recall process. Duh!  The citizens would still get to vote on it.  But using that as an excuse to give politicians more power and time in office... this whole thing just doesn't smell right.    


Disgusting waste of public money!!! The worst was Burgess!! He had no regard for the citizens.. his only boss was Lloria and sticking us with the Marlins stadium con! Now he can retire on his benefits from screwing the citizens of this county! I don't want ANY PERSON AUTHORIZED TO INDEBT ME WHO IS NOT ANSWERABLE TO ME AS JOE PUBLIC... OUT WITH CITY MANAGERS!!!

outraged tax payer
outraged tax payer

George Burgess annual salary was $345,515.00, what the F$%$!!!!! The president of the United States makes $400,000. This is ridiculous. But nobody ever mentions his salary be a culprit to the county budget problems. 

Disgraced Manny Diaz
Disgraced Manny Diaz

Joe Arriola and Pete Hernandez were both stooges for the disgraced ex-Mayor Manny Diaz. Arriola was too dumb and Hernandez was too in love with his pay and title. Criminal Diaz escaped indictment, so far. Wait for the SEC investigation?

SEC investigates Burgess
SEC investigates Burgess

George Burgess was corrupt. How else to explain his lies while promoting the Marlins deal which will cost the taxpayers well over $3BILLION, much more when the County is forced to refinance the high interest bonds sold to finance the Stadium and Garage.


Wow very good story. Corruption corruption everywhere!

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