On Tuesday evening, public corruption fighter Al Crespo, will be speaking to the Libertarian Party of Miami-Dade County in Coral Gables. Crespo has met with recent local fame with his popular blog exposing public officials to sweetheart deals with taxpayer money and outright corruption. The Miami New Times described Crespo this way: "Despite his brazen, notorious past — or perhaps because of it — Crespo has become a leader in confronting Miami's most powerful politicians and public officials. He has done the best job of informing citizens and law enforcement officials when our leaders are stealing from the public piggy bank."
On his website, Crespo describes Miami politics with a picture of a banner which states "The Banana Republic of Miami," and he's not talking about a designer line of clothing. The City of Miami as well as Miami-Dade County have been wrought with various levels of corruption over the years. Yesterday, Crespo drafted an open letter t0 City of Miami's Acting Mayor Danny Alfonso depicting the latest round of investigations facing the city. A copy of the open letter can be seen below.
Crespo has received praise from the public while causing politicians to tremble on the dais. Crespo recently filed an official complaint against City of Miami Assistant City Manager, Luis Cabrera. The complaint against Cabrera is that he got a job for his half-brother with the city's park department. The hiring has caused
The event will happen in the upstairs room of John Martin's Irish Pub & Restaurant, 253 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Al Crespo's open letter to Danny Alfonso:
October 6, 2013
Mr. Danny Alfonso
Acting City Manager
CITY OF MIAMI
3500 Pan American Drive
Dear Mr. Manager,
You’ve got a lot of problems on you plate, not the least of which is the fact that your signature is on documents I included as part of ALL my stories last week, starting with Luis Cabrera and his half-brother Juan, and then Luis Cabrera and the girlfriend of his twin brother Juan, and ending with Luis Cabrera and Madelin “Hot Lips” Pacheco.
The fact that you’re involved in all of these deals raises the question of how can you even think that you can get away with being the one to appoint someone to conduct an investigation?
Here’s what you are quoted as having said in the Miami Herald about this:
“As far as I can tell and according to the people answering questions, the correct process
was followed...But I asked the independent auditor to look into it because I wanted to make
sure that the investigation is done by an impartial third person.”
So, you think that a CPA is the guy to look into issues of Abuse of Power, and nepotism? And not just any CPA, but a CPA who was hired after the City Manager and the City Commission fired Victor Igwe, a real Independent Auditor, for digging up too much dirt like the cooking of the books that lead to the SEC investigation.
Your comments would be great in a comedy sketch about a stupid bureaucrat trying to cover his ass if this issue wasn’t so serious.
The one part that that I really found interesting was “according to people answering questions, the correct process was followed.”
Really? Are you really sure about that, because that’s not what I’ve heard, or that a lot of other people have heard either.
Last week you went to the Park Department’s offices on the 8th Floor, looking for the Director Juan Pascual, and when you didn’t find him, you invited a senior member of the Park’s Department into Pascual’s office, where you closed the door and spent a considerable amount of time talking with her. I can’t say that I know what was said, but I do know that the conversation was in Spanish.
Now I’m purposely not going to mention her name - although that might very well change in my next post about this, but the reason that I’m not mentioning her name now is because she’s under enough pressure without the additional pressure that my revealing her name would create.
But I know who she is, and you know who she is, and for now that’s what’s important.
I don’t know what was actually said at the meetings you two had, but I do know what this woman has allegedly told others.
She told them that she told you that the Juan Cabrera deal was cooked. She said that when Cabrera’s brother was hired, there wasn’t a real position for him, but that first, an effort was made to get him a job on the 8th Floor in the administrative offices of the Parks Department, but that after a position had been created for him, the decision was made to put him in Park Operations instead.
I know that there is a document from the Department of Human Services - that I have - that says the job that Juan Cabrera was hired to perform DID NOT require a driver’s license. Yet, out of nowhere, a Cuban exile who had only been in the country 90 days or so, and an employee of the city for only a few days, was given a city car and told to go out and inspect city parks - without supervision.
I know from information that I received from several Park Managers that they’ve never seen Juan Cabrera in their parks, and that part of their job responsibility is to fill out Playground Safety Checklists, which was something that Cabrera was supposedly tasked with doing.
I know that this woman has told her colleagues that she told you everything!
So what does telling you everything mean?
Did she tell you that after her boss Juan Pascual found out last week that she was going to be called up on Monday to provide information to the Independent Auditor that he, and another staff member allegedly started calling her trying to coach her on what to say and not say?
Under any circumstances, having your boss call you up and pressure you abut what to say, and more importantly WHAT NOT TO SAY in an investigation involving charge of abuse of power and nepotism would seem to many people like an attempt to tamper with a witness.
This woman has told people that Juan Pascual and this other staff person allegedly have tried their best to coach her on how to limit her answers and not say or answer anything that goes beyond the barest minimum answer required!
Why would Juan Pascual and another staff person be so worried about what this woman might say that they would be trying to coach her on how to answer questions?
Could one reason be that even now he’s still angling to try and get you to provide him with a contract to continue to run the Park’s Department after he’s forced to retire in January because his DROP ends? Could it also be that Pascual has been trying to promote or create new jobs for some of his favorites and this could come back to bite him in the ass if this woman were to start revealing all that she knows?
Could it also be because this woman’s name appears on documents related to all these illegal hires, and that because of her position in the park’s department she REALLY DOES KNOW where the bodies are buried?
Instead of shutting her up, Juan Pascual’s actions have scared this woman,and some of her co-workers are worried of what might happen to her if she were to tell everything that she knows.
When I got all this information about this woman it got me to wondering: if she told you everything that she knows when you two talked last week - twice, because you came back the next day and had another long talk with her - then why is she still scared? Didn’t you promise to protect her and give her whistleblower protection for the things she told you?
And if you didn’t, then should this woman be worried that she’s going to be thrown under the bus and made the scapegoat?
This woman wouldn’t be the first, nor the last city employee to be thrown under a bus by a bunch of conniving, unprincipled weasel dicks looking to cover their asses, but I would certainly hope you are not one of those people.
So, might I suggest that, if you really do want to find out the truth about Luis Cabrera and how both a half-brother and the girlfriend of his twin brother both ended up with jobs in the city, then you need to do everything that you can to assure this woman, and all other city employee who have information on these issues that they won’t get screwed for telling the truth, and that you also inform ALL city employees, starting with Luis Cabrera, Juan Pascual, and everyone else who might have had a hand in these deals that pressuring, harassing or trying to intimidate any employee asked to provide information on these or any other issue will be subject to immediate dismissal?
And if you really want to find out what happened, forget this nonsense with your Independent Auditor and ask the FDLE to come in and investigate these issues. Normally, these cases would go to the Miami Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit, but there is a real conflict of interest there, just as there is a real conflict of interest in your deciding on your own to turn this over to the Independent Auditor.
So it’s your call, Mister Manager. There are a lot of very angry employees in the City of Miami, and don’t think for one minute that any of them believe that anything that Luis Cabrera has done was by following “correct process.”
You’ll be hearing from me again,