Miami Beach Officials Arrested In Bribery Sting Had Awful Records, Yet Still Made Six Figures

Categories: Crime
When the FBI swooped into Miami Beach last week to arrest seven city workers for extorting thousands from a South Beach club, the higher-ups in City Hall shouldn't have been shocked. The Miami Herald got their hands on the personnel records of the five code officers and two fire inspectors busted by the feds, and frankly, it's incredible they had jobs in the first place.

The city workers had past charges for everything from cocaine possession to DUI to hit-and-runs, and some were caught lying to their bosses about gambling convictions and falsifying inspections. Still, several were making six figures before their arrests.

The feds say the seven city workers, plus a Miami-Dade cop, were caught in a sting at a SoBe nightclub. The inspectors are accused of taking $25,000 from the club to overlook code violations, while the cop and fire inspectors are charged with protecting what they thought were cocaine shipments through the business.

Here are the lowlights the Miami Herald found on the workers' not-so distinguished resumes:

  • Jose Alberto, who earned $122,000 a year, had been arrested twice for cocaine possession, once for DUI and petty larceny, been on probation three times and was accused of simple battery on his wife
  • Henry Bryant, who also booked $122,000, was suspended for 36 hours for lying about conducting inspections and accused several other times of falsifying reports
  • Chai Footman, a $116,000-per-year worker, lied on his job application about massive debts and was under federal investigation for trading clear inspections for free parties at clubs
  • Orlando Gonzalez, who made $69,000 annually, was charged with attacking two police officers at a friend's home and with a hit-and-run
  • Willie Grant was actually fired by the city in 2000 after they caught him lying on an application and neglecting to mention a conviction for illegal gambling. But thanks to lobbying from his union, he was reinstated a year later. He made $84,000 a year.
  • Vincent Santiesteban had multiple arrests and a restraining order, including one charge of throwing rocks at Miami cops. He made $68,000 a year.
  • Ramon Vasillo, who made $90,000 a year, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon

Who would have guessed that employees like this would have brought shame upon the City of Miami Beach?

Hey Jorge Gonzalez: Once the feds are done arresting your employees, you might want to look into a shakeup in the HR department, too.

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12 comments
BadDude
BadDude

the police think they  are above the law but guess they were wrong now, what are they gonna do with no jobs.

City Manager must go
City Manager must go

Jorge Gonzalez, the long time City Manager, needs to be fired ASAP. Gonzalez either knew these employees were corrupt or he should have known.

Mayor Bower and the Commissioners need to fire this problem.

brick
brick

I agree it is his responsibility as well as it is the responsibility of HR Director who hired them and the Code Compliance Director who should supervise his employees.....this whole situation is beyond obnoxious and this whole group of "big Shots" should resign.

notingham
notingham

I guess you can't get hired unless you are a criminal enterprise and can add something to the "clique" that you will be working with.  

Dale Odonell
Dale Odonell

try looking at  Florida City employees, you are in for a BIG SURPRISE 

Karis Fahrer
Karis Fahrer

I recognize one name of someone I have dealt with.  I'm shocked at the records and histories of these people.  WOW, the city employes some really really bad dishonorable people!

Lukeisstupid
Lukeisstupid

You can't get a job for the city unless you know somebody or are a minority. This is so disheartening how unfair the hiring practices are.

WakeUp
WakeUp

Wow, just robbing the public blind.   Whoever hired these people should be fired as well.   Ridiculous.

Working half as hard as me and making as much money in a public job is pure theft.

Vernon6
Vernon6

The FBI should just take over the entire Miami Beach government. 

Gandiiiiiii
Gandiiiiiii

IM A MIAMI DADE OFFICIAL AND I KNOW WE ARE ALL A BUNCH OF LOW-LIFE BITCHES, FORGIVE US.

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