CRESPOGRAM REPORT
FEBRUARY 2, 2015
BARRED FROM NUMEROUS GOVERNMENTAL COMPUTER NETWORKS FOR TELLING THE TRUTH
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THE REGALADOS, THE GIMENEZES 
AND THE SARNOFFS
BEING A PUBLIC OFFICIAL COMES WITH PERKS.  FOR THESE FOLKS, HANGING OUT WITH RICH FOLKS AT GALAS AND FANCY DRESS BALLS IS EASY SINCE THEY NEVER HAVE TO PAY FOR THE TICKETS
PART IV

Sometimes you really got to wonder why folks like the Regalado’s are willing to go to the lengths that they do either to break the law, or to skirt around the law when it would be so much easier, and much less stressful for them to just obey the law by filling out the government forms reporting the “gifts” they receive, and that they are by law required to fill out as part of their responsibilities as public officials.


Be that as it may, here I am again writing about Tomas and Raquel Regalado acting like grifters.  This time, like Alberto Carvalho and Carlos Gimenez and my pal Marc Sarnoff this story is about how they all collectively continue to accepted thousands of dollars of free tickets to events like the annual Arsht Annual Gala, and how Raquelita, after years of NOT filing any FORM 9‘s has come up with a way to hide Daddy’s acceptance of tickets .


First a little history so that you can better understand just what they’re been up to this time around.


I WANT TWO OF THOSE AND THREE OF THE OTHERS


In February of 2012, I filed my first ethics complaint against Tomas Regalado for accepting free tickets. In fact, my complaint was not only against Regalado, but also against his staff, starting with Ada Rojas, who were out-and-out soliciting free tickets for events at the Knight Center, Miami Heat games and even a boxing match put on by Don King. 


I was able to document that there were literally hundreds of tickets that had been solicited, and there were even more hundreds, if not thousands of free tickets that were alleged to have been given to a handful of city officials, who in turn gave them away to Family and Friends for events where the producers had needed city permits and assistance, or like the Tennis Tournament on Key Biscayne, where the Mayor and City Commissioners were given bundles of tickets from the County as part of the deal that allowed to County to use portions of Virginia Key for overflow parking.


I had them dead to rights, or so I thought.  I had the emails soliciting the tickets, I had the photos of them attending some of these functions, including this now famous photo of the Commie Hating Tomas Regalado with that well known “Castro, Commie Lover,” actor Sean Penn, and I was able to show that their behavior violated the law.

Sean Penn, Tomas Regalado, Sergeant of Arms James Carvil, and Jose Regalado at a Heat game.


Alas, it just so happened that I was at the same time pissing off the Ethics Commission off with my stores about their own unethical behavior, and because Tomas Regalado is at the top of the list of those protected by the Family and Friends Plan, my complaint (C12-17) was dismissed with the claim that there was a “lack of probable cause.”


At the same time however, the Ethics Commission issued a Letter Of Instruction to the City of Miami, because the violations were so flagrant that even though they hated me, they couldn’t ignore the violations I had detailed.


As part of my series of stories last year about the thousands of free tickets discovered to have been given away by the ULTRA Music Festival promoters in 2013 and 2014 - including tickets to the members of the Bayfront Park Management Trust, City Attorney Julie Bru, Assistant City Attorneys Maria Chiaro and Veronica Diaz, who’s claim to fame was that she was the Assistant City Attorney responsible for overseeing the contract between the Bayfront Park Management Trust and ULTRA that conveniently DID NOT include an audit provision - I also wrote about how the City Commission had pretty much wiped their asses with this Letter Of Instruction.


While the Ethics Commission was dismissing my complaint and issuing their Letter Of Instruction, I filed a new complaint against Tomas Regalado for going to Peru on a junket paid for by the Latin Builders Association, and failing to report the trip.


This time, the Ethics Commission dismissed my complaint saying that I filed it too soon - claiming that he had a full six months after the trip to filed a FORM 9 -  and Regalado took advantage of that loop hole to actually report the trip.


In February of 2014, I filed another ethics complaint against Tomas Regalado, who along with daughter Raquelita, had taken a junket to Argentina, where under the guise of talking about real estate investment in Miami he touted Tibor Hollo’s Panorama condo project, which not so coincidently just happened to be the real estate project that the City of Miami was at the time using as part of their application to be designated an EB-5 Regional Center. The application was granted, and the Hollo project became the first project that qualified for funding through the City’s EB-5 program.


One hand washes the other as the saying goes, only in this case Tibor Hollo got the super-duper hand wash.


This time the Ethics Commission did find Probable Cause that Regalado had failed to report the trip to Argentina, but ignoring the fact that he and the City of Miami had previously been warned through their previous Letter Of Instruction AND his being forced to file a FORM 9 for his trip to Peru in response to my complaint, as well as several opinions that the Commission had previously provided him on the need to file FORM 9’s when he took trips out of the country paid for by other folks, the Ethics Commission immediately turned around and dismissed my complaint because Regalado claimed that he didn’t report the trip because he had been incorrectly been advised by the Deputy City Attorney that he didn’t have to.

After my complaint was dismissed, I discovered that the Deputy City Attorney who had supposedly advised Regalado that he didn’t have to report the trip was Barnaby Min, and so I caught up with Min one afternoon at the MRC and asked him if indeed he had told the Mayor that he didn’t have to report the trip to Argentina.


He told me that he had never told the Ethics Commission that he had done this and that he had never advised the Mayor about whether to report this trip. More amazing was the fact that during most of 2013, Barnaby Min WAS NOT EVEN A CITY EMPLOYEE!


Min was fired as the Assistant Director of the Planning and Zoning Department in February of 2013, and wasn’t rehired as the Deputy City Attorney until October 17, 2013. 


When I wrote a detailed letter to the Nelson Bellido, the Chairman of the Ethics Commission pointing all of this out and asking for a rehearing on the decision to dismiss my complaint, he ignored my letter for months, and finally wrote me ignoring a direct response to my allegations and instead told me how hard the Commission works in the 3 or so hours that they spend once a month hearing complaints.


And that brings us to the present, where once again I’ve discovered that Tomas Regalado is still accepting thousands of dollars in tickets to events that he doesn’t want to acknowledge or reveal.


HERE’S THE LATEST TRICK INTENDED TO SHIELD TOMAS REGALADO FROM HAVING TO FILE A FORM 9


Understand that my objection is not that Tomas Regalado should not go to events, public or private.  He’s the Mayor of Miami, and there are plenty  of events that as Mayor he should and does go to in his official capacity, including Ribbon Cuttings, addressing various groups, giving out Keys To The City and other awards and to events representing the City’s interests.


At the same time, there is a state law that requires public officials who accept “gifts” of over $100.00 to file a quarterly reports accounting for those gifts.  I didn’t write the law, the Florida legislature wrote the law, and they did it to try and put some control over the wholesale mooching and/or quasi-bribery of public officials all over Florida, who on many occasions were all too happy to take anything given to them as a way to influence their votes.


There is a difference between the Mayor, a City Commissioner, or any other public official capable of making financial decisions going to events in “an official capacity,” where he/she is “performing some bona fide official function at the event,” and just going to some event to have a good time and enjoy the show, especially when the people giving them the tickets might have an ulterior motive tied to continued funding of their venue, their event, or just to curry favor for possible future needs.


In those cases, the elected officials can take those tickets and go to those events, but the law requires him to file a FORM 9, if they take free tickets because these tickets represent a “gift,” that most likely he/she would only have gotten because he/she is a public official, and that way the public has some chance of keeping track of what these officials are taking from people who might be looking for a favor in return.


In addition to that, when it comes to public officials in the City of Miami there is Section 4 of the City Charter which states in unequivocal terms that:

These photos represent $15,000 in free tickets given to the Regalados by the Arsht Center. And not only had Daddy never reported accepting tickets to these events, but neither had dutiful daughter Raquelita. In fact, it was only last year , after my ethics complaints that she started filing FORM 9’s, and in doing so, here is how she’s providing cover for Daddy.


If you look at her report below you will see that she lists herself as the recipient of 2 tickets for 3 of the 4 events she acknowledged receiving free tickets for.

This Section of the City Charter limiting the acceptance of free tickets was first enacted in the 19020’s because even back then a lot of Miami politicians had developed a well earned reputation of taking advantage of their positions by being mooches and free-loaders.


When it comes to Tomas Regalado, he’s been a public official for 17 plus years, and during all those years he’s seldom, if ever, reported any of trips or tickets he received yo all kinds of events.


It was only in response to my ethics complaints that he’s finally started reporting who was paying for his foreign trips, but he has never reported receiving a single ticket for any of the Annual Arsht Center Galas which he’s attended at least three times, according to photographs that I’ve found of him and Raquelita.


Here they are: 2012, 2013 and 2014.

MIAMI CITY CHARTER: Section 4. Form of Government; Nomination and election, (c):

That fact that she reported these tickets as “ gifts” establishes she did not attend these events in an “official capacity,” and because Daddy wenr along as her “date”, it also establishes that he didn’t attend in an “official capacity” either. 


Therefore Daddy should have reported these tickets he got from Raquelita as “gifts,” but there is a giant loophole in the law that allows an elected official to receive “gifts” from relatives without having to report them, as defined in the exemptions listed in Section 2-11.1 of the Miami-Dade Conflict of Interest and Code of Ethics Ordinance


How slow witted is that.  It only took them 5 years, and 3 Ethics Complaints to figure out that this might be a way that Daddy Regalado could continue to evade having to report these free tickets.


Of course there is  wrinkle in this well thought out scheme, and that is the portion of Section 4 of the City Charter which conflicts with the County’ Conflict of Interest Ordinance - and which some lawyers believe has precedence - given that it’s stricter than the County Ordinance, and also because it’s the controlling document when it comes to the behavior of the Mayor, City Commission, and all other city officials and employees.

“No mayor, city commissioner, or other officer or employee of said City shall accept any frank, free ticket, pass or service directly or indirectly, from any person, firm or corporation upon terms more favorable than are granted to the public generally.”

And of course, this latest scheme of Raquelita accepting the free tickets and then giving one to Daddy only applies to the 2014 tickets. 


For the 2012 and 2013 Arsht Center Gala tickets, as well as for all the other free tickets and swag that both of these folks have taken over the years the original rules still apply.


Nor are they the only local public officials who attended these events and never bothered to report the “gift” of free tickets.


MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAYOR CARLOS GIMENEZ AND WIFEY LIKE TO PARTY TOO


Among the photos and mentions in the list of attendees at many of these Gala functions that I found on the society websites were Miami-Dade County Mayor and his wife, and of course my pal, Miami City Commissioner and OMNI CRA Chairman Marc Sarnoff and his wife, whose OMNI CRA gives the Arsht Center $4.5 million a year to help cover their operating expenses.


Anybody want to bet that these party animals actually paid any money out of their pockets to dress up and go to these events, or better yet that Carlos and Marc filed a FORM 9 declaring the tickets they received to these and dozens of other events in recent years?


Here is Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his wife Lourdes - who coincidently works for the Miami School Board - at the Make AWish Ball, Be A Voice, Feel The PassionGala, Voices For Children’s Gala and Best Of Spring Gala, to name just a few gala events.

Sometimes, the photos of the politicians don’t end up on the society pages, but their names almost always end up in the articles of who attended, such as last year’s Viscaya Ball.

And then here is my pal Commissioner Sarnoff and candidate Sarnoff, aka “The Beard,” at the 2012 Viscayna Ball, the Frost Science Museum Ball, and the 2012 Arsht Center Annual Gala where Kevin Costner performed, and the Sarnoff’s went “country” for the night.

In his book Capitol Punishment, Washington Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who went to prison for bribing public officials, wrote that free meals and free tickets was often the method he used to corrupt these officials.


Who’s to argue that the free tickets to Miami’s politicians have not had a similar effect?


It’s Miami, Bitches!


NOTE:  The photos used in this story were found by going to Google and BING, typing in the names of Tomas and Raquel Regalado, Carlos and Lourdes Gimenez and Marc and Teresa Sarnoff, and then clicking on Images. Many of them were taken by worldredeye images.

TO LOOK ATTHE FEW FORM 9’S FILED BY THESE FOLKS CLICK ON THIS BAR.  BEAR IN MIND THAT YOU WILL SEE GAPS IN THE FORM 9’S FILED, OR IN SOME CASES NO FORM 9’S FILED AT ALL, AND OF COURSE YOU WON’T FIND TICKETS TO ANY OF THESE EVENTS REPORTED BY TOMAS REGALADO, CARLOS GIMENEZ AND MARC SARNOFF.REGALADO,_GIMENEZ_FORM_9.html