Is Joe Carollo A Victim or Has He Stolen Valor?

Joe Carollo
Grant Miller, Publisher

City Manager City Manager Emilio T. Gonzalez recently wanted to recognize veterans in the City of Miami.  Miami Mayor Francis Suarez recently gave certificates of recognition to two members of the City Commission:  Willie Gort and Joe Carollo.

Gort served in the Army Reserves and was recognized for that service.  Carollo’s paper stated that Carollo was a veteran of the United State Marine Corps Reserve.  Joe’s time in uniform may be one of the best kept secrets in Miami.

In fact, it has gotten the attention of a bevy of investigative reporters, both in television and in print. They’re all chasing down the story of whether Joe was ever a “G.I.”.

Most politician’s favorite topics is themselves. Former Vice President Joe Biden famously quipped that all Rudy Giuliani needed for a sentence was “a noun, a verb, and 9/11.” Our current Commander-In-Chief can’t resist the temptation to turn every national victory or tragedy into a story about him.

Joe, however, seems reluctant to talk about his time in the military. A check of his official City of Miami webpage reveals little more than the fact that he’s the Commissioner from District 3. His biography on lists the fact that he was born in Cuba in 1955 and came to the U.S. in 1961, has four kids, and was once arrested for domestic violence.  The Miami Herald once described Joe as “bombastic, sometimes paranoid, often vindictive toward those he believed crossed him, but always colorful.” However, there is no mention of Carollo’s time in the Marine Reserves that could be easily found.

That is not to say that Joe has never spent time in uniform.  In 1973, when he was 18, Carollo applied to become a firefighter, a corrections officer, and a police officer. He got as far as becoming a public service officer in October.  A “public service officer” is like a lite beer version of a cop. You get a uniform and a kind of badge, but no gun or power to make arrests.

His tenure as a PSO was rocky. He was given a written reprimand for insensitivity for sticking a cartoon of the Klu Klux Klan into the mailboxes of several police officers.  The Miami New Times noted that in August 1976, Carollo “was again cited, this time for excessive use of sick leave.” Joe resigned as a PSO on September 8, 1976.

Joe Carollo

His commander at the airport district, dropped this evaluation into his personnel file upon his separation from the force: “Based upon continuing problems in the areas of attitude, attendance, adherence to rules and regulations, and his less-than-satisfactory performance, Officer Carollo is not recommended for re-employment.”

Thus, Joe’s sole service in uniform appeared to have ended almost 42 years ago.

Nevertheless, City Manager Gonzalez arranged for Mayor Suarez to hand Carollo a veteran’s commendation, apparently on Joe’s say-so alone.

Miami is filled with wannabe spies and pretend black operators who, over cafecitos and glasses of cerveza, spin fictions of service and glory.  However, old men who exaggerate their heroics do more than swap tall tales.

They steal valor.

They insult everyone who has rightfully served. They heap dishonor on the memories of those who battled. They cheapen the honor of the sons and daughters who sacrificed their youth and all too often their lives in service to our nation.

The story of whether Carollo actually served is going to break in the coming days.  Freedom of Information Act requests have already been made to the Pentagon by several news outlets.  There is no exemption for the release of Carollo’s military records, if they exist. Or for the fact that there are none, if they don’t.

Joe’s claim that the repairs at his house were done under a secret renovation code that exempted him from the City’s jurisdiction lacked credibility. A potential claim that his service record is so secret that the Secretary of Defense has to disavow it for national security reasons won’t hold water, either.

Joe can get in front of this story today. He can show that he is a victim of a campaign of whispered innuendo.  He could produce his DD 214 form, showing the dates of service and discharge. Given his history with the Miami-Dade Police Department, it’s doubtful he got a Good Conduct Medal. Nevertheless, he might prove his service with copies of citations he was awarded.

I hope he served. I hope Joe served and was discharged honorably.  If he can, he will still be a bully. At least he won’t be a coward.

But if he can’t produce that proof and it turns out that his claimed service was a hoax, if Carollo came forward and was recognized by Gonzalez, Suarez, and the City of Miami for military service that he never undertook, he has only one option.

He must resign immediately. And he must resign in disgrace.

There can never be redemption for a man who steals the honor belonging to others.  The ball is in your court, Joe. Either put up or slink away.

Connect To Your Customers & Grow Your Business

Click Here


  1. It’s a disgrace to have people like Joe carollo .this gay is a Hypocrit ..the only thing that.he wants is money and power .another mafia guy in miami

  2. Has a citizen living in his District and this information becomes true he must resign. I will contact every veterans organization in Miami.

  3. Grant,

    You as a professional journalist should know how to easily pull his service records yourself.. Then, you don’t have to worry about whether he served or not..

    Making suggestions of this nature without having conducted your due diligence is likely below the standard of professional integrity that you are supposed to uphold.

    Have at it and let us know.

  4. I stopped reading when you talked shit about our president, not because I support him but because I couldn’t care less about opinions. Stop the vitriol already. You come across as a punk.

  5. Why is he always in public office knowing while knowing his bombastic, obnoxious self serving behavior? Are voters, officials that blind?

  6. You my friend are not only the publisher of my community newspaper in cutler bay but are an excellent and courageous writer.I also want to comment on local issue but to be quite frank i am afraid of retribution especially regard to the police.This looking good in uniform while posing for coffee with a cop,croquet with a cop and handing out leaflets at publix is no substitute for good old police work which is proactively patrolling all the streets of cutler bay especially overnight.The criminal element now has no fear of being caught.There is no sense of what is a basic tenet of p0lice work which is omnipresent.I will trade the coffee and croquets for the sight of a green and white during a slow crawl through the streets at 3 am.I have no faith in local government for a change in this regard.Our friendly neighbors to the north pinecrest figured it out 20 years ago.Please keep muckraking and remember i request can e mail if u want.

  7. Almost every cuban in Miami has screwed this town in 1 form or another. They never ever should have been allowed to seek refuge here and should have been turned away at sea. Let me sight the irresponsibility of the Elian Gonzalez mother risking the life of her only child. She got what she deserved and let’s move on to iliana ros lehtinen another asshole demanding to keep the embargo on cuba thus hurting those people even more than what they were already going through. Guess what she now works for a firm that does biz directly with cuba. These stupid assed cubans I am sure love her. They have a strangle hold on Dade county in an illegal way and they are always going to keep Dade County in a bad light. The nation disrespects DC and we have lost the tourism battle a long time ago because of these garbage people. Get rid of these assholes which will be impossible.Their drug money and their medi care and medi caid fraud which affects Americans nationwide is just the beginning of their stupid assed mentalities. Last opinion I was on Kendall drive when I got back from wonderful Colorado in 2009 after living there for 3 years to get or try to get away from assholes (I am a fence contractor with a license) and worked for 15 years with these freaks asking myself everyday how does the U S Government allow assholes to float over (let’s not compound the situation with wet foot dry foot not speak English to have jobs take over with drug and fraudulent money and expect an American in the only biz he ever owned to operate. These people couldn’t care less about miami/america. Simply put I escaped temporarily only to find the same asshole mentality when I got back.Getting back to Kendall drive, I am east bound and notice at 1 of the apartment buildings an older car with an older man with his dumb ass cuban flag (notice not an American flag) hanging from the rear view mirror and asked myself what is wrong with this picture and the immediate response was, THIS SHOULD BE SOME POOR GUY FROM MINNESOTA WHO FROZE HIS ASS OFF HIS WHOLE LIFE WHO DREAMED OF RETIRING HERE (AND AT 1 TIME MIAMI WAS A COOL PLACE 2 B AND OR LIVE) that has been displaced out of a dream to accommodate assholes. Grant I know you and I use to live in S.M.PLEASE I BEG OF YOU EXPOSE THESE ASSHOLE CUBANS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE NOT JUST THE politician PUNKS BUT THE GENERAL ASSHOLES THAT HAVE COMPLETELY RUINED MIAMI AT ANY LEVEL YOU CAN. PLEASE dis spell the the talk WE BUILT MIAMI (biggest lie and joke) I have heard.Just like I’m the man in the moon. I hope you did not marry a cuban and hope you are not a cuban sympathizer because that would really hurt me. My final statement is If God came down and said Brian if I can take your life and I will free miami of these cubans I would respond, just let me make arrangements for my dog say goodbye to a handful of people, then let’s roll. Miami deserves to be free of these freaks. And the world deserves to have what was a cool place returned to the people who truly put Miami on the map. Cubans are nothing but charlatans, period. Blow this carroasshole the hell out of ruined miami and grab ros lehtinen as well. Do you remember when her husband bounced her off walls? I would be honored if you contacted me I will be happy to tell you what detectives in Miami Dade pd are telling me. Very shocking
    I don’t know if you are friend or foe?

    • You truly are a bigot and a racist spewing hate. You are an uneducated “fence contractor”. LOL, I would debate you but I never fight an unarmed “man”.

    • Brian my parents came from Cuba and rose the American flag before the Cuban. Every thing you just said about Cubans is the reason why we became a successful business and American culture because of dealing with your bigotry, my father would tell me stories of racist like yourself that’s why he would wake up every day at 3 a.m. to go and off load trailers at publix. You sir are a person I would gladly never do business with. Thank you for insulting Americans and this America

    • Speaking as someone born in Cuba and raised in Miami…. I cannot find fault with what Brian said. Cubans are trash, a huge drain on the local economy.

  8. You clearly are a propagandist rather than a journalist. It only took you 4 poorly written paragraphs to take a swipe at the President and quote Biden. That’s why write for the toilet paper times.

  9. Many in my family have served as proud Americans. It is a disgrace for someone like Joe Corollo to steal their thunder. How dare he, what a creep. He needs to resign, now.
    I am a native of Miami, born and raised by a military Father and proud educator of Miami Dade School system
    Dr. Edward J Arahill And Mrs. Arahill.

  10. If it turns out that Mr. Carollo has lied about his military service as a marine, he definitely owes his duped supporters, City Manager Gonzalez and Mayor Suarez an apology (and return any commendation received for military service), and finally, do the right thing and immediately resign as Commissioner. Certainly, his lying, bullying, and general attitude that he is free to disregard the zoning laws makes him unfit for public service.

  11. He’s all about stolen valor-please, not a victim. It’s the citizens of Miami who in all likelihood could be considered victims under his tenure as a “public servant”. Hah! That’s a rich one- A better word is self-serving. You nailed it right- politics for Joe are all about helping himself.

  12. Intentional lieing to the public is an Ethics violation. I learned this at a presentation/workshop given by the Commission on Ethics. A formal complaint should be made by constituents if it turns out that Joe is lieing about military service. A person with such a poor record as a PSO would never make in any branch of the military. Maybe he had a dishonorable discharge.He certainly doesn’t have the personality of a person with a military background. The first thing new recruits have to learn is to subjugate their egos and that everything they do is for the servival of their group. It will be interesting to know the truth.
    I also wonder if his constituents knew about the domestic violence. These facts should be made public when a person runs for office. How could anyone vote for such a person?

  13. In an article about whether Joe Carollo lied about his military service, there was no need to attack our U.S. President Donald J. Trump with a gratuitous snipe unrelated to the article.

  14. Richard, if the truth hurts, it’s your bad. All elected officials who bully, lie and manipulate facts to benefit themselves need to be called out. It’s a pattern of bad behavior that erodes our democracy and the public trust, no matter who they are.

  15. If an elected or appointed official is lying, stealing, or engaging in any behavior which is immoral or unethical the citizens have a right to call it out. Any attempt to stifle criticism is an attack on freedom of speech.

  16. Dear Sir;
    You have chosen to write on a subject that is VERY close to my heart. You do have a duty as a writer to follow this story. This is called “Stolen Valor”, if not verified. This is a CRIME, and punishable by law. I lost someone in the Viet Nam war, and find “these kind of people” (ones who do commit this crime), to sicken my stomach, and I am so hoping that you will be a good citizen and stand up for those that gave their life for our freedoms…like the press. This can be verified, yes by the F.O.I. Act to the V.A. or directly to the Marine Corp.
    I WILL be following this story; it was told to me by someone I know, who lives there and has knowledge of this person. I was born and raised in Miami and have always respected Miami reporters. PLEASE do not drop the ball on this one; he is dishonoring all that have fought and died for our freedoms and should be arrested…that would be a story for you to cover.

Leave a Reply to Brian Massouras Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here