Is Joe Carollo Above The Law?

Joe Carollo
Grant Miller, Publisher

Regulations are funny things, depending on which side you find yourself.  If you’re the government or you’re the people who the regulations don’t affect, then the view is that they must all be strictly enforced, regardless of their wisdom or merit. If you’re a business owner or a home owner who’s added onto his property without bothering to get permits, then regulations are seen as threat to freedom, profits, or both.

The City of Miami Commission seems obsessed with the issue of whether businesses throughout the City are intentionally violating the City Code.  The issue didn’t start with Commissioner Joe Carollo, but he’s widely seen as someone who delights in pouring gasoline on an already smoldering La Caja China.

Carollo has been at war with the owners of the Ball & Chain bar, staking out their valet parking lot at night and making code compliance complaints against it.  The battle has resulted in a federal lawsuit filed by Ball & Chain Co-Owner Bill Fuller against Carollo and his targeting of Fuller’s businesses for selective enforcement.

Commissioners have spent many hours recently attacking the credibility of business owners, threatening the livelihoods of the thousands of people they employ.  But those in power want to act like Roman emperors, giving a thumbs up or thumbs down to businesses. Those who are favored (or who do favors) get to live. Those who have had the temerity to oppose the powerful can find themselves in the crosshairs of bureaucrats.

The conflict has spilled out of the Commission chambers and into the administration.  After a raucous Commission meeting held on February 14th, City Attorney Victoria Mendez asked City Manager Emilio Gonzalez to have 11 properties re-inspected. Of those 11, seven are owned by Fuller and his affiliates or are associated with Fuller-owned businesses.

That request by Mendez prompted City of Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina, who raised his concern about Commissioners trying to sidestep the prohibition on their giving directions to City staffers by funneling them through the City Attorney’s Office.  Colina’s expression of concern brought a sharp rebuke from Commissioner Carollo.

The antics in Miami have gotten the attention of the State Attorneys’ Office. Assistant State Attorney Tim VanderGiesen, Miami-Dade’s top corruption prosecutor, has asked the City to turn over documents related to the code enforcement kerfuffle.  It’s not clear whether the investigation will go any further.

The result of all of this that the people are growing wary about the integrity of their government.  It’s time for the Commissioners to stop shouting and pounding on the dais. It’s time for them to show their good faith.

Joe Carollo

The City has five Commissioners and a Mayor.  All of them have to live in the City of Miami. Several conduct businesses in the City limits.

I have a modest proposal, one that will greatly increase the public’s respect for the City government.

The Mayor and the Commissioners should ask City Manager Emilio Gonzalez to send code enforcement inspectors to review their properties, both businesses and homes, for permits and violations. To be fair, the City should go in alphabetical order by the Commissioners’ last names. They should also invite the media to come along, so everyone can see the truth for themselves.

I got the idea from Joe Carollo himself when he said at a recent meeting: “In America we are all supposed to be treated equal. The rich and the famous have to be treated the same way as everyone else,” Carollo said.

I agree. And Joe Carollo would be the first to be inspected under this plan.  This would prove that Joe’s not all bombast and no action.

By doing this, the Mayor and Commissioners will strengthen the public trust in their leadership. They will show that no one is above the law. If they don’t hold themselves to the same standard, then they will make clear that in their own minds, they’re sitting at the top tier of the Coliseum, ready to pass judgment on ordinary people in the arena.

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  1. Now Joe Carollo wants to fill in the FEC Slip which cost the taxpayers over $17 Million, and give it (rent it) to some developer friends of his. ,

  2. Carollo is the political equivalent of Herpes. He pops up,painfully uninvited; obstructs, divides and infects whatever he comes in contact with,then disappears into the scar he has caused,only to reappear,b listering with ‘Just Causes’ that need to be battled…
    There is no cure,no immunity,no rhyme or reason,or lasting historical significance to be gained from his periodic visits. The only good thing I can conjure in his favor, is that, incredibly, he’s avoided the fate of several contemporaries and managed to stay out of jail.

  3. He should be focusing more on cleaning up SW 6th Street, from 13th Avenue through 17th. There’s prostitution, drug selling and a shady “bar” in the corner of 6th ST and 14th Ave. Why not put an effor to clean up neighborhoods of crime and shady businesses? I mean, it’s just across from Calle 8. I feel sorry for turists when I see them walking in this area!!

  4. The chaos, animosity, incivility, retaliation and raucuous meetings follow Mr. Carollo wherever he goes. Don’t you remember the City of Doral meetings, the 3 hour rants about communists and threats to jail council members who dared to question his actions? He is truly a psychopath and needs to be drug tested every time he shows up for meetings. His permanent stash of cocaine must be laced with LSD or oxycotin. For crying out loud, vote this man out of office!!!!!!!! He didn’t even live in the district and is not a legitimate commissioner.

  5. Mr Miller’s brilliant proposal must be made official and included in the conditions EVERY politician must satisfy BEFORE running for office.
    On the same time I suggest Mr Miller hire a good security service for protecting himself and his family.


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