MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
Permission granted photo by Michael Trainer
SAVING MIAMI BEACH GOVERNMENT FROM HELLFIRE
All who pass by jeer at you. They scoff and insult beautiful Jerusalem, saying, "Is this the city called 'Most Beautiful in All the World' and 'Joy of All the Earth'?" Lamentations 2:15
Updated March, 12, 2013 The City of Miami Beach is aflame with scandal again, and this just after the city published another poll showing that businesses and residents are mostly pleased with the government of the beautiful city on the sunny beach. Well, ignorance is bliss. The Miami New Times, a countercultural, scandal-mongering, free sidewalk rag born of the Village Voice, has fanned the dying embers with a reiteration of past scandals, adding fuel to the fire in an inflammatory article, „Burn Notice, Miami Beach Fire Rescue is aflame with corruption, harassment and retribution.‟ The response of Fire Chief Javier Otero to the current revelations of misconduct was predictable: “These are nothing more than allegations from disgruntled employees.” The city commissioners have asked the city manager to look into the allegations. Of course it is believed that all the issues are old hat and have been appropriately addressed. If not, yet another costly report from an outside consulted will be obtained and filed away after a meeting or two.
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He said he believed he was terminated two days after several arrests of building department employees. Weston is presently employed by the company that owns Permit Doctor.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
One of the several employees mentioned in the New Times Article was a fire inspector by the name of David Weston. He said the city auditor tried to warn him to back off. by which he meant millions of dollars of permit fees gone uncollected due to the gross undervaluation of properties subject to such fees. working as an unclassified professional employee of the city. he told us. Of course one would not want to violate his civil rights. 2012. that he managed to get a copy of Fire Marshal Sonia Machen‟s investigative report accusing him of the ethics violation. Although Weston‟s curt letter of dismissal did not give any reason for termination. It appeared to me that he had stuck his nose into a big honey pot and it was not appreciated. His engineering training. it was she who had introduced the notoriously faulty or untraceable permitting system called Permit Plus to the fire department. a circumstance that he said greatly irritated City Clerk Robert Parcher. Miller noted that Weston‟s old job as a fire protection analyst “suited his obsessiveness. according to the New Times. Weston had made a public records request to see his file. He is in the right business. now retired. and. but it had been cleaned of his commendations and the investigative report or there was more than one file. which I think is kind of stupid considering that he was an at-will employee and could have been terminated without cause. Getting Ahead of the Job Con. he said. “Weston seemed amazed by the similarity of our concerns when I spoke with him. New Times expose. and refuses to roll over for fear of further retaliation. He thought legal oversight of the building department‟s legal processes was
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. 7. losses of permit fees due to under-valuations of properties and/or the failure to pull permits at all or failure to disclose the full extent of construction when applying for permits was the subject of a five-part series. the leading permit expeditor in the area. Walters said he had contacted Weston a week before reading the advance.” Walters said he had noticed negligence in permit application reviews by the city‟s legal department. It was after he was fired. the page of truth about what really goes on in the city government. in March of 2008. he said the pretext for his dismissal was the false accusation that he had violated a countywide ethics ordinance prohibiting conflicts of interest. Machen was in charge of inspections. but since he would not mind his own business. He is also obsessed with cleaning up that process. and a city should manage all its personnel fairly regardless of their status. Mr.” Walters said. simply to render him guilty by spurious association. his long experience in the building industry. “I told him we were obviously on the same page. online edition of the Dec. New Times reporter Michael E. they got rid of him. penned by freelance journalist David Arthur Walters and published by the Miami SunPost.” Heaven forbid that ordinances be obsessively enforced in a paradise where antinomian libertines tromp with virtual impunity. creating quite a record in the meantime. and his familiarity with the faults of the permitting processes can only be a boon to Permit Doctor clientele. Weston claimed that he had been fired from the fire department for insistently reporting “missing monies” to superiors. By coincidence or divine providence.
” Walters supposed that city attorneys routinely review dismissals just as they did permits.
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. unclassified (non-union and non-civil service) professional employees like Weston. Smith. My interest was with some boat docks and therefore not under any aspect of my regulatory duties. Consequently. Partovi. Johnson and Villarreal. while the city also engages outside attorneys to do some of its legal work. had a financial real estate interest on the beach. but Smith naturally did not take kindly to his opinions about his department. For instance. saying that he believed in following the law.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
inadequate. and he later called Walters‟ constructive suggestion for accountability as “moronic. especially involuntary terminations such as Weston‟s because of their potentially controversial nature. Salient to this opinion are the conclusions from my own experiences as well as reading the indictments of building employees Ratner. attempted to discredit him with the editor of the SunPost in a blatant attempt to suppress any unflattering reports. The Ethics Commission disagreed and ruled in my favor. who would not want it to conflict with the performance of the employees internal duties. from Jews to Hispanics. I believe that Smith was well aware of the financial irregularities in the fire. “I know that the city attorney participated in my termination as I was warned several days in advance of my termination by an attorney in his office that leaked this decision to a mutual friend. He faults Smith for the animosity.” Outside employment of some types of employees is permitted by the city. and called him a bigot.” stated Weston. deathly afraid of negative SunPost publicity. Smith wanted me removed from the city because I would not remain silent about the millions of dollars of missing monies. and annually disclosed. I believe that Mr. Mr. according to what I was told. The extent of the outside employment appears to be at the discretion of a department head like Smith. Public record email reveals that Smith replied cryptically. As a professional employee of the city I suffered absolutely no financial harm as I was fully vested with my benefits. Smith approved my dismissal. yet. which in my opinion. building. Walters said he made a constructive suggestion to Interim City Manager Kathie Brooks and Smith that fee and fine write-offs and reductions need to be carefully accounted for and regularly reported. and code departments. I was terminated from the city because it was claimed that this ownership was a conflict of interest. while Walters‟ paternal grandmother was Jewish. fully. In fact. especially when he suggested that Smith be fired unless improvements were made. as reprehensible. A less than friendly personal relationship had already developed between Walters and City Attorney Jose Smith. Smith. He asked Weston to state for the record his opinion on City Attorney Jose Smith in respect to his firing. are and were racketeer influenced corrupt organizations. and he had disagreed with the influence brought to bear by the city attorney in respect to fine write-offs and case dismissals against the judgments of city magistrates known as special masters. “I. Personally I had a replacement job two days after leaving Miami Beach. like Mr. characterizing Walter‟s brief reference to the famous ethnic shift of power in Miami Beach. several lawyers who are employed in the city attorney‟s office have reported outside employment. Salient are the facts that my ownership and outside employment was previously. Smith is a Cuban American Jew.
and racketeering. His „belief‟ is contradicted by his Personnel File (and his own words and
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.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
Weston had not named all of numerous city employees arrested over the past few years and charged with such state felonies as unlawful compensation. obviously incensed. Federal criminal complaints lodged in April of this year against city employees were for extortion and narcotics trafficking and not for violations of 18 USC Chapter 96. He claims that the pretext for his termination was an alleged conflict of interest over outside employment that did not actually exist as such. Nor was I aware of his allegations reported in the Miami New Times.com/2013-02-07/news/miami-beach-fire-department-corruption/ “Mr. or using their departments as criminal enterprises or devices. former Human Resources Director. and was in reality simply an investment relationship similar to that which you yourself had. the city‟s Fire Marshal. might be relevant if it can be shown that officials are controlling. Weston has expressed his belief (attached) that you knew of the irregularities in the allegedly corrupt city organizations. nor are they aware of the proper role of a city attorney in regards to this sort of personnel situation even though they have a pretty good idea from news accounts and movies what a house attorney for a mob does. Mr. although lauding the good works of several city departments. in the interest of fair and balanced reporting. other than that you followed the law as usual.” Smith. an attorney in Mr. “Now most people do not know much if anything at all about the city‟s personnel rules. the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Had those allegations been brought to my attention. has characterized them as Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations. Weston‟s Personnel file reflects that he was terminated by Fire Chief Eric Yuhr for violating both City and County Ethics Codes.miaminewtimes. Walters said that he. Ramiro Inguanzo. However. Weston‟s “belief” (5 years after his termination) that I was somehow “aware” of “financial irregularities” or that I had a role in his termination is patently false and offensive. responded hastily: “I do not know David Weston and I have never spoken with him. had “NO KNOWLEDGE of [his employment] with the City and DID NOT take part in the decision to terminate [his employment]”. that Act. Hopefully you provide some clarification of your own role in this case. and that you wanted him fired and participated in the termination process because he would not remain silent about missing monies. 2008. provided Weston‟s opinion to Smith for his response: “http://www. bribery. Mr. money laundering. Smith: Please find a link above to the New Times article presently shedding more light on our scandal-ridden city. in a letter dated October 8. informed Mr. Weston‟s termination and no one in my office had ANYTHING to do with it. “Mr. after an extensive investigation by Sonia Machen. I would have referred them to the appropriate law enforcement authorities as I routinely do. Smith‟s office. Indeed. running. I do not know the circumstances about Mr. designed to conveniently prosecute racketeering leaders for a pattern of behavior. Weston that my Special Ethics Counsel Jean Olin. Former fireman and fire inspector David Weston.
Moore asked some questions about how I was doing and I answered that I was fine and that I was confident that everything would be fine. 2008. knowing them to be utterly false. in an apparently mendacious letter to Weston dated October 8. Olin reviewed the documents of the complaint and indicated that in her opinion. 2008: “Please be advised that Ms. Your continuous efforts to tarnish my reputation for political or personal agendas will not be tolerated. on “February 26. It also appeared to be an attempt to defend his special counsel. Weston can appear to give the Permit Doctor an unfair advantage. Weston. said that “Mr. there is clearly a conflict of interest. Mr. Damian Gallo almost on a daily basis. Ms. “FPA Weston has to work with Mr. I find the relationship between Mr. Jean Olin.” Furthermore. Olin has no knowledge of your employment with the City and did not take part in the decision to terminate your employment. Gallo is a professional permit expediter who does a lot of work in the City of Miami Beach. and that there were other errors that could be pointed out. As the Fire Marshal. report states that. Ms.” Indeed. Additionally. Machen‟s March 5. Assistant City Attorney. Mr. Gallo and Mr. Olin‟s role as Special Counsel to the City would preclude her from discussing matters related to your employment and/or termination from the City. I felt the same way.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
actions).” Weston noted that Assistant City Attorney Olin was specifically mentioned in Fire Marshal Machen‟s report as consulted in respect to the Weston termination. I consulted with Ms. whom Walters had not mentioned nor did he know of her at the time. 2008. recounts that a week after a meeting with Fire Department officials. Gallo and Mr. 2008. for behavior that the city‟s human resources director avowed was prohibited.” Machen objects to Weston‟s “business relationship. I suggest you consult will your legal counsel if you think I‟m playing games. the relationship between Mr. Mr. Weston unacceptable. with a permit expediting firm called Permit Doctor because it might give that company an unfair advantage. I caution you that as a „journalist‟. your malicious dissemination of these clearly defamatory statements (as well as your reference to the „mob‟). Please govern yourself accordingly. Gallo and his associates handle all matters related to plan review and inspections. The Permit Doctor has many jobs in the north part of the City where David Weston Is assigned. Smith is right in being concerned about tarnishing his reputation. Gallo benefits and "looks good" to his clients if he can facilitate expedited plan reviews and inspections to get the Job completed. Moore went on to tell me that this wasn‟t what the City Attorney was saying. he was approached by Sonni Moore: “Mr.” alleged by an anonymous complaint. whatever the objectives might be. It is definitely not conducive to a
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.” (sic) Our impression of Smith‟s impetuous email after reviewing the public record on the case was that it continued the official libel of Weston and constituted a defamatory projection of his own guilt onto his inquirer. that Olin was directly copied on Ethics Commission Opinion RQO 8-36. Olin. for the sole purpose of creating scandal and controversy will expose you to personal legal liability and punitive damages. but he wondered what the point would be of pursuing the issue with Smith. Mr. Weston‟s notes on March 16. after reviewing Smith‟s statement to Walters. we believe that a lay analysis of Smith‟s response to Walters‟ inquiry supports Weston‟s notion that Smith was directly involved in and probably sanctioned his dismissal. assigned to ethical issues. Whether true or just perceived.
as the subsequent Ethics Commission opinion appears to state. coupled with threats to strip him of a pension they assumed he had. the passive investment complained about was not in the company that owns Permit Doctor but in another firm. 2008.000. However. 5255 Marina LLC.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
good working environment and it is contrary to our standard of delivery of services. Again. Weston claims that he would have offered to resign with pleasure if he had known of Machen‟s position. disagreed with the assumption that his so-called business relationship. He said that. therefore we inquired whether or not Weston had any investment in Permit Doctor.
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. the kind of so-called business relationship he had with Gallo would not have violated ethical standards. and he is not entitled to receive a salary from the corporation? Is a municipal fire inspector required to file financial disclosure forms?” On September 2. The opinion is somewhat ambiguous or confusing because the first question was not if both outside employment and investment had to be disclosed. the last question being if investment itself had to be disclosed. he posed the question to the Ethics Commission: “Must a job applicant for the position of fire inspector in the City of Miami Beach disclose as outside employment an investment position he holds in a Florida corporation if—he does not provide any services to the corporation. he did offer to resign when he discovered he would be fired. but if outside employment had to be disclosed as an investment. Weston. constituted unauthorized outside employment. competent personnel departments everywhere are disinclined to provide reasons for dismissal upon inquiry from outside parties such as prospective employers. the city could have dismissed him or asked for his resignation without stating any cause whatsoever provided that the termination did not violate his civil rights—Weston believes that the city had a right to demand that he waive his civil rights as a condition of employment. she believed he had violated the codes. in fact. Must a job applicant for the position of fire inspector in the City of Miami Beach disclose as outside employment an investment position he holds in a Florida corporation—if he does not provide any services to the corporation. something that most attorneys would disagree with. On July 17. even though. Weston stated to us that he was not employed by Permit Doctor at the time of his dismissal. and he is not entitled to receive a salary from the corporation?” The Ethics Commission responded that “neither of the activities” Weston had described in those two questions required financial disclosure. but the involuntary termination was insisted upon. Indeed. 2008. he said it would have cost him $50. he does not received a salary from the corporation. Therefore the opinion did not appear to directly address the issues of whether or not an inspector‟s employment with or a passive investment interest in a company that helps firms with permitting and inspection approvals would require disclosure because of a possible conflict of interest. as an at-will employee. “In your email of July 17. who was not privy to Machen‟s report until several months after he was fired. you asked the following questions. a boat-slip renovation marina operated by the same person. which was an investment not in the Permit Doctors‟ operation but in another firm. Ethics Commission Director Robert Meyer issued Opinion RQO 08-36 with a copy given to Olin. 2008. not knowing he was not in the pension plan—if he were in the plan. he does not received a salary from the corporation.” She added that although she was not an expert on the ethics codes.
The booming permit expedition business in general has been the subject of some controversy of late.” Weston said. Judge Glasser disqualified because there was wiretap evidence that he was aware of criminal activities and was advising defendants besides John Gotti. Even if you were Cutler. is to get at the truth. and want you to know that I appreciate your perspective on the opinions and beliefs of the gentleman who opines that several city departments are racketeer influenced corrupt organizations. [Weston corrected the above statement: “I never said my termination was “wrongful. The Building Department has agreed Expeditors are not licensed and their business is unregulated. Smith: I have given your response some thought. both Weston and Gallo have stated that they believe all expeditors should be licensed as such. whom he believes is a credible. and a
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. Suspicions of criminal and moral corruption have been broached but nothing has been proven. He provided Smith with the following answer via email on February 5. to expedite the solution instead of fanning the flames of scandal and grinding axes. did you have any investment with Damian J. Editor] “I expected to see your denial. The firm has been involved with numerous prestigious projects. straight-up fellow. and that you played a role in his termination. as is done in some other states. and even if it blackens the eye of Weston. whom. pay them off for speedy approval. which. Gallo & Associates. but he said that he believes Weston wants to put out the fire blackening the Miami Beach government. I certainly did not intend to imply or suggest that you are a Bruce Cutler. Permit Doctor is a trade name of Damian J. making it impossible to track their involvement in the process. An expeditor could establish a trusting relationship with the persons who approve plans. and in fact I suggested it when I remarked on a presumed difference in roles between a house lawyer for the mob and an attorney for a city.” Therefore the belief that termination was wrongful is the opinion of the author. Former City Manager Jose Gonzalez informed us that he had made an objection to having a Permit Doctor operating on city premises. you would have a great reputation as a lawyer and as a personality with a better sense of humor. Gallo & Associates at the time?” “I had no money in Gallo or any other interest with him or family. but all except Permit Doctor are unknown to the general public. as you know. in my opinion. Still his own duty as a journalist. and the bribery could go undetected for years. and appears to be an annex of city hall. “Mr. and it is wondered why the Building Department cannot expedite permits equally with its own expeditors. but how valuable and why is questionable to those unfamiliar with the building industry. he said.” What I do believe is that it was intended to silence me and the basis for this termination as stated in the Machen report contained misleading and inaccurate information. was wrongful. The South Beach Permit Doctor is located on city property. but the political forces had been against him. According to Walters. Walters has been critical of the expedition business.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
“Besides the investment in the marina LLC. he believes. The names of expeditors are not required to be disclosed on permit applications. They perform valuable services besides standing in line. There are many permit expeditors.
Of course I would hold you. the perception or misperception of widespread corruption in the city.
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. “Indeed. As it is. Frankly. but I think I would exercise more restraint if I were in your shoes. I would invite the inquisitor over to my comfortable office to go over Mr. there are several things I could add to your good reputation now that I know you better. Believe me. I understand why you would be indignant over being cast in a bad light. or has been too busy drafting ethics lessons. Now if I were you and you had done nothing wrong. Get used to it. and the city liable for any such prosecution. Weston‟s personnel file and discuss the matter for ten minutes or so. I do not pretend to advise you how to behave. extortionate and thuggish in popular parlance. you appear handsomer and happier in the photos I have. but I have a perfect right to give an adverse opinion on your behavior by way of comparison with what I believe would be appropriate if I were in your shoes. given the public scandal. there is no defamation in my present opinion about your advice that I should consult a lawyer on defamation law. “Furthermore. and I believe any attorney competent in defamation law would agree. and I was left wondering whether or not the legal department is normally consulted to distinguish between the two in order to protect the city against unnecessary suits including whistleblower complaints. You should have gotten used to it long ago. a powerful public figure and official for many years. I wonder if you are misperceived because you do not like to be spotlighted. instead of threatening him with a lawsuit. your attorney(s). Weston and offered to you for your response for the sake of balance. your implied threat to prosecute me for expressing opinions and beliefs about your role as a public figure and official in order to coerce me into not expressing them is malicious. for I live under a vow of poverty with one foot in the grave. You will have no blood from this turnip unless you have him erased. for apparently. Weston and other former and current city employees. “As one of the false „gods‟ of this city. Mr. and are an irascible curmudgeon when criticized. and there is nothing that I could say that would add to your bad reputation. but I really do not believe you are the cowardly bully that would pursue that course. that consultation did not take place in this instance. “And there is a difference between terminating someone for misconduct and retaliating against them for reporting misconduct. “I see no defamation whatsoever of your good self in the opinions and beliefs stated by Mr. “Believe me. that the Miami Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust has not sent someone over by now to look over the records and interview everyone involved. which I imagine are of far greater quality than mine. It is something that many lawyers believe they are privileged by law to do even when there is no merit to their claims. given your statement. Since you are not. Weston may revise his opinion after reading your statement. it seems its director may have been sleeping on the job. In my opinion.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
background as an assistant district attorney and top homicide prosecutor. to come over here and see if there is any merit in the negative opinions and beliefs of Mr. After all. “Sir. you enjoy both a good and a bad reputation. I am surprised. Public Trust is at its lowest mark in the city at this time. as a politician who became city commissioner. but you will have thousands of sanguine words.
stating that I was a bigot for referring to the ethnic shifts of power in our city. and had detected and reported malfeasance and misfeasance to his superiors including Fire Marshal Machen. His vice was in his arrogation of the absolute power that corrupts every mortal being. mainly because I believed you had presided over what I perceived as sloppy work.‟ and side-by-side pictures of the mugs of Smith and Cutler.” Walters reflected. Numerous violations were cited. He was warned again. don‟t you?” The letter bore a link to romantic mobster music from „The Godfather. Nevertheless. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt after that episode. The complaint states that Llewellyn was warned that he had violated the “chain of command” procedure. and that any criticism of your role was an attack on the city itself.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
“At one time I said that I thought you should be fired. I bear him no malice: if he were to do sufficient penance and be reborn as a Democratic leader I would recommend him for mayor. Mr. I really wanted to give his office the benefit of the doubt. “I had really come to no conclusion because I had not seen the personnel file yet. “Smith or Cutler. one only has to look at the arrests of the past few years to become convinced. Weston's.” James Llewellyn. a decorated firefighter and fire inspector with the city since 1984. and poor customer response. He was transferred from fire inspection
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.” he said. Smith replied that he needed no help.” Walters sent Smith a copy of a blank whistleblower‟s complaint dated June 2007: “FYI: A Whistleblower Complaint re Special Masters City Manager Etc. “The allegation that city departments are virtually or really racketeer influenced corrupt organizations and have been for a long time is a serious one. perhaps I would not second guess them if I saw what they had seen. and I intended no offense. I have not looked into it. providing inspection information to outside parties. This statement does not require certification. If true. I came across the attached blank complaint with allegations similar to Mr. this time for conduct unbecoming. and I am still willing to do so if you will cooperate in getting at the truth of the corruption allegations. “I do not know which lawyer would be more offended. getting rid of City Manager “Boss” Gonzalez will not clean house. and always sent the difficult cases to counsel. which Walters asked us not to display because publication of the photos may be protected. stating that he had experience reviewing proposals for termination. thus conflating your personality with the corporate fiction. Jorge Gonzalez in my opinion had his virtues and did many. don't know if it was filed and if so what came of it. insubordination. some of which were allegedly admitted by the city manager and the fire chief. many good things.” Walters send Smith an e-text short thereafter. but I do believe the city needs a good house lawyer to clean house. alleged therein that he had been punitively transferred because he had vigilantly enforced the fire code. “Even if Smith or his attorneys had seen the file. and reiterated his threat. Your response to that was to put pressure on one of my editors. Neither do I bear you malice. after he documented violations at an influential business. Both the New Times and the SunPost had published reports about similar problems. Smith.
It was all BS. that he was a freelance journalist who submitted articles to various publications. and the grievance process had exhausted the complainant‟s remedies. As for Weston. which was a memo from his office to the city commission stating that the suit was dismissed on two technicalities: the statute of limitations had expired. statutes of limitation issues were involved in the court‟s ruling against me. Smith. with a copy to Interim City Manager Kathie Brooks. he addressed Smith in a public record email dated Feb.C. However. as you know. the judgment was not on the merits of Llewellyn‟s allegations of misconduct. I recall that the document was sent to you with a note that I was unaware if it was even filed. We have not yet corroborated Smith‟s allegations to the commission. especially dealing with the city‟s failures to ensure honest and effective government in the realm of life safety. Maybe the National Enquirer will print our emails! Have you no shame? Jose” Apparently Smith did not read the attachment he sent to Walters. Llewellyn has said that he has proof and is willing to come forth with it. What are you afraid of?” “Mr. Furthermore. The complaint was dismissed by Judge Wilson as frivolous. Weston never even bothered to file a grievance or a lawsuit. you know very well that court decisions are not always indicative of what the truth represents. Llewellyn has said that he has proof and is willing to come forth with it. While my suit may not have been successful in recouping unjustly lost compensation. Smith then he sent an email to Walters with a copy to the editor of the SunPost. and had told Smith in no uncertain terms on a previous occasion that he was not employed by the SunPost. Keep trying. As an attorney. You‟re developing quite a reputation in town. If his memo is correct. it is highly doubtful whether Smith would want to see it at this juncture even it would enlighten him on how to improve human relations. When provided with a copy of Smith‟s statement to Walters. Walters: Please see attached. without opinion) The grievance was also denied. and his motions to have his grievances and appeals heard were allegedly denied. An aardvark digs faster than three men with shovels. 18.A. I have evidence (sic) that varies from your statements but do not know if that is worth reporting to anyone. The 3rd District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal (P. especially when it involves whistle blower suits which are notoriously difficult to advance.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
to fire suppression. You wrote that my suit was „BS‟. No sir. You simply deny these facts and other truths of the matter. I must respond to set the record straight. You actually seemed more interested in insulting and
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. the details spelled out in it are backed by proof. as follows: “Dear Mr. Have you confirmed if any of it is true? Keep digging. failures and corruption regarding public safety matters are dangerous and a disgrace. Walters claims he had not solicited nor submitted an article to the SunPost on the subject. You may defame me with editors at length if you are so paranoid to believe something that has not been said—there is help available to you in that regard. Smith: After I read your recent comments regarding my old whistle blower law suit. at substantial loss of pay and rights. A public record email exchange followed: “Mr. I have not planned on submitting any reports to the SunPost yet as I am giving priority to national media.
Consider that at least as far back as my efforts to fight corruption almost 10 years ago.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
denigrating the person doing the inquiry which prompted your comments regarding my suit than you do in acknowledging the truth.” (Paragraph breaks omitted)
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. Consequently. just as you are doing with the comments regarding my suit. 2 letter to Olin. Miami Beach management has enabled corruption by circling the wagons and punishing those willing to speak out instead of acknowledging the truth. critical audit findings etc. Their role is especially vital when government managers seem more interested in self preservation and political considerations than positive reform. Have you no shame? Sincerely. During our meeting in June I advised you that I intended to take this matter to the Miami Dade Ethics Commission and now based upon their rulings I would like to request that you reconsider your prior recommendations. that I had a written extension authorization issued to me by the Miami Beach Fire Chief. You asked the person making the inquiries about my suit if he had no shame. The Commission‟s opinion clearly and specifically stated that my equity ownership was not considered employment…. That authorization stated that certain employment matters were to be submitted to your office for a resolution and that I would be subsequently advised. How do you and other so called leaders sleep at night? Do you ever have trouble looking in the mirror? How do you rationalize away the fact that Miami Beach management. I would like to request that you re-review this matter and your position…. along with the continuing resistance to acknowledging the truth for the sake of positive reform. you seemingly fail to recognize the irony of your pathetic denial. thanking him for replying to his Oct.2008) and Ms. of which you are a part.” The documentary evidence that Smith denied he had was in the public record and within his easy and immediate reach. I also intended to show Ms. Citizen activists usually operate using their own time and resources. Machen had not informed you of this memo. Olin also attended my hearing before the Miami Dade Ethics Commission (see opinion RQO-08-36). Given the indisputable evidence of extensive corruption that has occurred under your and the rest of Miami Beach government management‟s watch. Some comments were directed to her during that meeting. Olin that even if I had been an employee. I must ask. While some in government may be irritated by their efforts the truth is they play a critical role in keeping government honest which has obviously been a problem in Miami Beach for many years. I also intended to advise Ms.5. Lastly. (see „Up in Flames‟ link below) Miami Beach government managers have presided over continuing gross failures of public trust including critical issues of public safety and well being. Apparently I was not alone with this understanding. has repulsively failed to provide honest government for many years. investigations. One would have to be dishonest or simply out of touch with reality to deny otherwise after so many years of arrests. Jim Llewellyn Miami Beach Firefighter/Inspector Retired. In our meeting of June 2. Olin another memorandum indicating that no other person in Fire Prevention division had filed any documentation declaring outside employment. 2008. We have in our possession a copy of a letter dated Oct. “Ms. resulting in unnecessary endangerment and losses to Miami Beach residents and visitors. 2008 you indicated that you were unaware of this memo from the Fire Chief and that Mrs. 12. including myself have been saying for so long. Olin provided direct counsel on my matter to the Fire Marshal (see attached memo of 3. And that strikes at the heart of the problem of what some people. from Weston to Human Resources Director Ramiro Inguanzo. all the while being paid handsomely by the very same taxpayers they have betrayed.
I was rebuffed by HR Director Ramiro Inguanzo. On March 21. As you may know I met with Mr. I was asked if I was a shareholder in 5255 Marina LLC. This entire matter was never about me. 2. my hero. and Inguanzo was the chair of the board. which was no secret to Del Favero. 2008. Machen sent me a memo informing me that I was under investigation. I was not disgruntled. and I was called into the office with Fire Chief Ed Del Favero and Marshal Sonia Machen.” and was directed to contact HR for it—that would take months of requests. if I recall correctly. He also confirmed at that time. After several written and verbal requests I received that information for the first time on Monday. I apologize for the delay with this request but I have been awaiting a copy of the Fire Marshal‟s investigative report of March 5. 2008. two days after the arrest of Mohammad Partovi. I was not fairly heard and I was denied the ability to appeal. She asked me for an explanation and ordered me to refrain from any inspections involving Gallo (a principal in Permit Doctor). Henry Johnson and Andres Villarreal. I was called into acting Fire Chief Eric Yuhr's office and handed a termination memo. No reason was stated. only concerned that something very wrong that clearly was going on. Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this matter. All of this was allowed under the agreement that I was required to sign as a condition of employment. but Chief Yuhr declined. a lack of knowledge of additional information that had not been presented to him by the Fire Department. and I had also been granted a waiver from the former fire chief. and I explained I that was. I continue to believe that it would serve the city and my interests well if you had the opportunity to hear my position personally. “In conclusion. which were ignored by HR. Two sentences. the city attorney‟s inflammatory email to Walters continued:
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. I was asked to pack up my stuff immediately and leave. “I did not know the specific charges. which I did. 2008. I had done everything possible to alert the city of unusual transactions and also alert the city of the circumstances of my dismissal.” wrote Weston. 2008. September 29. Machen‟s investigative report contained factual errors that I thought worthy of reporting to Assistant City Attorney Jean Olin I wanted to tell the city attorney's office directly about it. and retaliation against loyal but fearful employees. It was about the citizens‟ money.” Shortly after Walters and the SunPost received Weston‟s summary events.” (Paragraph breaks omitted) That information gibed with a narrative of events that Weston emailed to Walters and the SunPost editor: “An anonymous letter of complaint arrived at the fire department. I was told “no. I was unable to confront any witnesses. I immediately asked for a copy of the Machen investigation as I was entitled to one according to the Fire Department policy. The employee HR board will only hear classified cases. Floyd Jordan. I find that this report contains some misrepresentations as well as omissions of material facts. I had offered to resign. but there was no getting past HR. “I was not interested in pursuing a complaint against the city. All unclassified employees have no grievance procedure. Ramiro Inguanzo on Monday June 2. 2008 letter from Weston to Olin had the following content: “I would like request a meeting with you regarding my termination from the city.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
The Oct. I submitted an explanation that I had contacted the Ethics Commission. until it was finally produced by City Clerk Robert Parcher.
I am the one being defamed. and how he tried to shut up the Munich Post. No. he should do likewise or retire to sit on his laurels. Smith might think he is a “left-wing Jewish intellectual.”
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. for him the city is not its people but city hall with him ensconced in it. Sins of South Beach.” He recalled that he had indeed told someone he intended to solicit a “Post” editor. a REAL „journalist‟. “He identifies himself with the city government. “But should he be fired? He is a perfect representative of the past government. Mr. would be gone from Miami Beach. I am not afraid of you or your ilk.P. I have to drop this issue for awhile. You are admonished to afford more dignity to your noble profession. I have lived in this community for 52 years and I'll remain here long after you go stink up other pastures.” Walters. who has lived in South Beach from time to time since 1969. that they were scoundrels. and continuously since 2004. for all he knows. and the implications of his behavior gave me cause to wonder how I should construe his references to my future absence. Why are you then peddling your junk to City Debate? J. Walters. said he had a previous communication from Smith that he. by him in his capacity as city attorney. You may want to put three guys with shovels on the subject matter. or they should confess. He has a right to speak as freely as I do. Obviously there is none.” Walters said he called J. but he meant the Washington Post. “If Smith got his Post right. Morgan. I shall turn my file over to Kim for safekeeping. Otherwise. and its continuation. fine.” (sic) “Mr. Weston is a good man. Smith. Never will be. he replied that.P. Also you may enjoy watching Grumpy Old Men. I have likened him to a gryphon sitting on the city wall. without an agenda would allow a response. and Morgan told him he had not communicated with Smith for several months. repent. therefore he had alerted his friends and turned over Smith‟s communications to law enforcement in the event of his disappearance. City Debate is one of many publishers I contact about all city matters. “It appears that Smith disseminates insulting falsehoods to editors whenever he feels threatened. which he referred to as the Poison Kitchen. which he thinks is the city itself. and be born again to save the government of Miami Beach from hellfire. He is not after your rear end.” When asked what kind of “ilk” he might be. but because we are fallible and the truth will never be completely known unless all perspectives are expressed. But if government is to improve. Perhaps Bruce Cutler will come to my defense. As for being sued for libel. The gryphon‟s duty is to guard the treasury where not only money but other forms are power are kept. which is its members and not the meeting-place. Walters. If you have "evidence" that contradicts my statements (check your spelling). “People are afraid of Smith in this community. If he wants to be cowardly and slap me with a malicious SLAPP suit. Morgan does not play your game. We speak freely not because we believe that truth is a magic bullet. You see. said he has no immediate plans on leaving. Neither does the SunPost.MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
“Mr. But whose treasury does he guard? Unlike a church. His goals are commendable. I would have seen it by now. editor of City Debate and publisher of the popular book about Miami Beach corruption. Or anyone elses. he would remember what Hitler said of the journalistic ilk. In fact there are several high officials whose heads should roll.” Walters stated. Walters.
MIAMI MIRROR – TRUE REFLECTIONS
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