We elect politicians to represent our interests and be our voice on matters that affect us and our families.
At their best, our elected officials inspire us and improve our quality of life by tackling problems with discipline and determination.
But what happens when our elected officials turn against those of us that try to hold them to these high standards?
Commissioner Joe Carollo has a long history of weaponizing the tools of government against residents and businesses that support political rivals or dare to challenge him. He’s already bleeding the City with legal costs on that front.
The latest example of Carollo’s misuse of his office is the baseless Notice of Violations served on the Miami home of attorney David Winker last week.
You may know Winker as the “activist” and business lawyer that has had a tremendous amount of success suing the City of Miami by forcing the City Attorney and the City overall to comply with its own laws.
But now the City is trying to paint him as breaking the City Code with demonstrably false allegations of open permits and “illegal units” (the City’s own website shows there are none).
They also accuse Winker of breaking the law because he has not applied for a permit to work from home during the pandemic.
Is this just normal incompetence and bad government, or is this another tool Carollo is wielding to attack his critics?
Winker is not just one of the millions of people working from home as we try to flatten the curve and find the light at the end of this pandemic tunnel. The attorney has beaten Carollo four times in court, with Crazy Joe unable to stop the recall Winker is leading. Crazy Joe may have met his match with Winker, who Carollo is unable to bully and can’t smear.
So why would the City bring these made up Code violations against Winker?
Because the City wants to send a message to the public. Mess with Carollo and you are going to feel the wrath of code enforcement, or fire inspectors or police.
It is time for residents to let the City and our elected officials know that corruption is not allowed. We are tired of paying Carollo’s legal bills tied to his mismanagement and corruption, particularly as the City grapples with a COVID-19 related revenue hole.
When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Who is next on Carollo’s list of target – an abuelita with no money who calls into a Spanish-language radio program to point out his corruption?