CRESPOGRAM REPORT
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MAY 18, 2016

ANYTHING TO KEEP THAT QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLAR PAYCHECK COMING IN

A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF WHY THE MIAMI HERALD’S POLITICAL NEWS CANNOT BE CONSIDERED ANYTHING OTHER THAN PABLUM, WRITTEN TO ORDER, AND DEPRIVING THE CITIZENS OF ANY KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT REALLY GOES ON AT MIAMI CITY HALL

A ONCE PROUD NEWSPAPER IS NOW REDUCED TO SHILLING FOR SLEAZY POLITICIANS

A couple days ago I posted a story about retired Miami Police Sergeant Raymond Carvil’s efforts to run for a seat as a City Councilman in Miami Gardens.


The next afternoon, David Smiley posted his own story about Carvil’s efforts on the Miami Herald’s political blog, Naked Politics.


My story focused on how bad I thought Carvil’s election would be for the citizens of Miami Gardens, and Smiley’s story was more of a promotional piece favorable to Cavil, and included a quote by Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado - who Carvil had driven around as his Sgt-At-Arms - who said that Carvil was considered part of the Regalado “family.”


My story featured a photo of a Carvil campaign ad that showed him in the uniform of a Miami Police Officer, while Smiley’s story included a photo of Carvil dressed in civilian clothes.


Both photos included Carvil calling himself “Commander Carvil.”

Six months before he retired, Carvil was promoted by Miami City Manager Danny Alfonso, to the political rank of “Commander” as part of an unsavory deal that also involved the promotion of another politically connected police officer to become a Sgt-At-Arms.


This is how I described what Alfonso had done and it’s consequences.


“Last year, after making promises to the FOP and others that he would not engage in the practices of previous City Managers who used to play political games by promoting and moving around favored police officers based on their political connections, Alfonso did just that with Carvil by promoting him to the rank of Commander for the last few months before he retired as a favor to Regalado - thereby allowing him to walk away with an inflated retirement package - that also included promoting another politically connected cop to take Carvil’s place.


It was this skanky deal that caused many people - including several City Commissioners - to realize that Alfonso, contrary to the image he had tried to create of being a straight shooter, was just like his predecessors - none of them who could be trusted when push came to shove to honor their word - and that in turn was part of the fuel the fed the anger that bubbled over last month about Alfonso’s overall behavior as City Manager and the motion to fire him.”


This is how Smiley described what happened.


“His promotion was criticized by the city's police union as a compensation-inflating, pre-retirement political appointment at a time when the city manager was fending off a potential bid to fire him. Carvil dismissed the allegation Monday as a product of an antagonistic relationship between himself, Mayor Tomas Regalado and Fraternal Order of Police president Lt. Javier Ortiz.

Carvil's retirement was mandated due to his enrollment in the city's deferred retirement option program, which allows public employees to build a tax-deferred nest egg while they finish out their careers on the condition that they lock in their retirement date. He said he wanted to continue his career in public service and after some searching decided to run for city council.”

Smiley’s version made the controversy over Carvil’s political promotion look like it was nothing other than a personal fight that was the “product of an antagonistic relationship between himself, Mayor Tomas Regalado and Fraternal Order of Police president Lt. Javier Ortiz.”

That is so contrary to the actual facts, that either Smiley - who is the Miami City Hall reporter for the Miami Herald - knows very little about what goes on inside Miami City Hall, or that he purposely chose to leave out the fact that, as I stated in my story, Alfonso’s appointment of Carvil to the political rank of Commander was an issue that also inflamed an already rocky relationship between Alfonso and several Miami City Commissioners including Miami City Commissioner Francis Suarez, who has made no secret of his concern that this promotion was NOT based on any personality issues between Ortiz, the Mayor or anyone else but rather on Alfonso’s failure to follow up on his articulated practice of promoting police officers to the rank of Commander ONLY after they had gone through the civil service process of achieving the rank of lieutenant, which also included receiving the necessary training now considered essential for this job.

What upset a lot of others, especially folks in the police department, was that this all played out against a backdrop that involved two other Miami Police officers, one who had met all of the qualifications and training requirements and who had been filing in as the backup for Carvil for over a year, and another officer without those qualifications and training who ended up being promoted to replace Carvil, screwing the guy who should have gotten the promotion based on merit and accomplishment.

This practice of appointing unqualified police officers to work at City Hall as Sgt-At-Arms has now escalated by the claim that Alfonso appointed the alleged boyfriend of Commissioner Keon Hardemon’s mother to be Hardemon’s Sgt-At-Arms.

This raises a question - given that it was Commissioner Hardemon who made the motion to fire Alfonso at the April Commission meeting - as to whether this appointment was done solely to neutralize Hardemon in any future efforts by other Commissioners - especially Commissioner Carollo - who still want to fire Alfonso.

The City of Miami has had a long and embarrassing history of failing to honor or respect professionalism and advanced training by repeatedly promoting members of the Family and Friends Plan to important and critical jobs they were unqualified to handle, in the process paying them astounding amounts of money.

This is a story that one would expect a City Hall reporter might want to sink his/her teeth into but Smiley’s never written stories like this because to to so requires acting like a real reporter, including going out and talking with folks instead of allowing himself to be spoon-fed pablum coming from the Mayor’s Office.

LET’S TALK ABOUT CARVIL’S VIOLATION OF THE FLORIDA PUBLIC RECORDS LAW

The thrust of my story was that I believed that Carvil would be a terrible choice to be an elected public official in part because of his past behavior that demonstrated a willful and disturbing lack of knowledge of the Florida Public Records Law, and worse, a willingness to use his position as a police officer to violate the law and threaten an individual with possible arrest for attempting to exercise his rights.

To support that claim I included a video that was made by a guy named Joel Chandler in February of 2014, when he showed up at the Mayor’s Office asking to look and photograph copies of the Mayor’s Visitors Log.

Smiley’s story completely ignores and leaves out any mention of the video, or of Carvil’s behavior, which given the seriousness and flagrantly illegal way in which Carvil not only refused to obey the law, but actually went so far as to threaten Chandler with possible arrest - that’s what Carvil means when he’s on the phone and says “We might have a possible 39,” is just one more indication of just how sorry and irresponsible the Miami Herald has become when it comes to standing up for the rights of citizens to exercise their rights to seek and obtain public records.

In full disclosure I have previously written about Chandler and some of his antics - I believe that he and a couple of his pals have abused portions of the public records in an effort to turn them into personal money making schemes - but at the same time what he did at the Mayor’s Office was completely legal, and the video tape reveals a persistent patten of illegal behavior by the City of Miami that I have also written about on numerous occasions, which is that in an attempt to try and circumvent and frustrate the ability of individuals to seek public records, the City Attorney sanctioned a process where all public records requests first had to be submitted to the Communications Department, then run by that moron Angel Zayon.

I want to take a a little space in writing about this because so many people who supposedly claim to know about the Florida Public Records Law are completely clueless about the real requirements of the law, and when it comes to the City of Miami they are not only clueless, but have been willfully lied to by the Mayor, the City Attorney and numerous other people into believing a bunch of nonsense about the city’s ability to make it’s own laws.

In an open letter that I wrote to City Attorney Victoria Mendez back to October of 2013, and that I posted on this site, I spelled out the law, and requirements that”

             Florida Chapter 119, Section 119.07(1)a)

             “Every person who has custody of a public record

             shall permit the record to be inspected and copied by any

             person desiring to do so, at any reasonable time, under

             reasonable conditions, and under the supervision of the

             custodian of public records.”


In Puls v City of Port St Lucie, 678 So 2nd 514 (Fla 4th DCA 1996): the Florida Supreme Court went further to point out that”


             “…the courts have concluded that the statutory reference

             to the records custodian does not alter the “duty of disclosure”

             imposed by s. 119.07(1) F.S., upon “[e]very person who has

             custody of a public record. Thus, the term “custodian” for

             purposes of the Public Records Act refers to all agency

             personnel who have it within their power to release or

             communicate public records.””


When Chandler walked into the Mayor’s Office and asked to look at the Mayor’s Visitor’s Log, the response should have been, “Sure. Here it is.” The Mayor’s Visitors log is a public record, it was kept at the receptionist’s desk, and it should not have been a big thing for the receptionist to put it on the counter, instead of going through all the reasons why she couldn’t, and then going and getting Carvil.


To illustrate just how confused everyone in the Mayor’s Office was about complying with the law, the first person who comes out to talk with Chandler tells him to contact Angel Zayon at the Communications office, and when Carvil comes out he tells Chandler he has to make his request to the CIty Clerk’s Office.  Both of them were wrong.


You can see then do this if you watch the first 3 minutes, then fast forward to 7:11 when Carvil walks into the room, and then watch it to the end which includes Carvil calling the Police Department asking for backup, and escorting Chandler out of City Hall.

To further appreciate not only the way in which the policy regarding the compliance with the public records law was - and continues to be violated by the City of Miami - but how the Mayor alleges that the Miami Herald is a willing participant in this illegal activity, below is a second video that I am posting for the first time - I lost track of where I had stored it and it took a couple hours to find it yesterday - that I shot at City Hall in 2014 when I waited to confront the Mayor over his refusal to respond to a public records request I had sent to him.

I have no way of knowing how the Miami Herald goes about making public records requests, but I do know that they get fed a lot of documents as part of the Quid-Pro-Quo that exists between the Mayor and the Herald when it comes to stories that the Mayor wants the Herald to write about favorably.


One of those stories occurred in in October of 2012, when I uncovered how the Miami Herald got documents related to a story I was working on about Stephen Perry, then the Finance Director for the City of Miami, who lacked the educational requirements for the job, but had been given a waiver by another Crespogram favorite,  Janice Learned - La Viega Loca - who was then the City’s Chief Financial Officer.


This stuff goes on all the time, but It was a rare opportunity to actually show my readers how documents and the Herald’s story came about.


DAVE SMILEY ISN’T ALWAYS A SHILL, BUT HE’S DEFINITELY ALWAYS A WEASEL


David Smiley is a seasoned reporter, and he’s written a lot of good, in-depth stories that shows that he knows how to do those kinds of stories when he wants, or when he’s told to do so, but those skills also allow him to write crap when he’s told to, or when he figures on his own to give someone like Tomas Regalado a reach-around.


But when I say that he’s always a weasel, it goes back to when he ripped off one of my stories about a year and a half ago, and not only I, but a lot of my readers also weighed in taking him to task.


In the aftermath of that incident, Smiley decided that when he uses my stories he would, instead of doing the professionally honorable thing and include a mention in the body of his story that, “this story was first reported by the Crespogram,” he would not do that, but rather, he would only mention me in one of his Tweets, like he did with this story.

This is classless behavior, because since a lot more people read the stories either in the paper, or on-line than look at Smiley’s Tweets, this is purposely done to limit the Herald’s readers from knowing where the story actually came from, and that in turn illustrates that someone who behaves in this manner is really a weasel.


It’s Miami. Bitches!