Joe Carollo is not above the law. The law is above him

Joe Carollo
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Grant Miller

It looks like when it comes to Miami City Commissioner Joe Carollo, the posse doesn’t care.

Joe led a one-man vigilante effort to have the City of Miami close down Ball & Chain, the Calle Ocho nightspot owned by local entrepreneur Bill Fuller.  Carollo commissioner sent code compliance officials to Ball & Chain and other properties with links to Fuller. Carollo has gone on Spanish radio to accuse Fuller of wanting to “de-latinize” Little Havana.

Fuller’s real crime was that he backed Carollo’s opponent, Aflonso “Alfie” Leon, in the last election.  Opposition is the kind of thing that swaggering little dictators can’t abide. Carollo went so far as to try and intimidate the valets who park customers cars at the nightclub.

At a press conference in front of Miami City Hall, Fuller and his business partners provided public records of construction work and the violations that Carollo has at his Coconut Grove house. The pictures also indicate that Carollo cut down a protected tree without permission, which could generate tens of thousands of dollars in fines and require him to plant new trees.

Oddly, the house is no longer where he lives . He had to “move” to Little Havana to qualify for the single-member district seat he now represents.

The Code Compliance officers want to return to Joe’s “empty” house to inspect the backyard to see if there are more violations and evidence of further work done without permits.

Is Joe Carollo crazy… or crazy like a fox?
Joe Carollo

Joe says “No”! He also says: “Nada”, “Non”, and “Nyet”!

He refuses to let inspectors into his backyard. Of course, he lamely claimed that he made the repairs and upgrades by following a state set of standards that didn’t require him to pull City permits.  Perhaps now he’ll cite the Napoleonic Code to justify keeping inspectors out.

If this were you or me, the City wouldn’t hesitate to do the inspection.  At the very least, City Attorney Victoria Méndez would be earning her quarter of a million-dollar salary by hauling the scofflaw into court to get a judge to order the inspection.  Faced with a mandatory injunction, a recalcitrant homeowner would risk contempt and jail time by failing to allow the inspection to go forward.

For some reason, they’re treating Joe like a desperado holed up in the box canyon of his backyard. On this, Joe has no special privileges. He is not above the law. The law is above him.

City Manager Emilio T. Gonzalez doesn’t have to get special dispensation from the City Commission to move into action.  He can direct the officers under his control to do what is needed. If Carollo won’t comply like any ordinary citizen, Méndez needs to dust off her legal pad and file suit.

We either have one rule, one law, one standard for everyone or we let little desperados have their way.

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  2. Fuller got Carollo by the short hairs. City does need to follow up. Geant almost hates this guy as much as he hates Phillip.

  3. Carollo is a cancer to this city. He is as crooked as he gets. He influences the other less experience commissioners to vote with him because they
    feel intimidated by him. He is like a little mafia and feels he is untouchable. But every dog have his day
    And his is coming to an end.


  5. Mr.Friedman. You are correct;however, what the SAO’s office should do and what they actually do, are two entirely different things! Same thing with Ethics. Their performance is shameful and leaves us with no recourse. Please call the SAO’s office and the Commission on Ethics and speak to one of the attorneys. They will offer sympathy, but no recourse. We pay their salaries and they must be sitting around going through the motions of listening and processing complaints, with extremely rare cases of finding in favor of citizens who are sick and tired of corruption in plain sight. Elected officials and their highly paid henchmen are brazen with their wrongdoings because of this lack of recourse and accountability to citizens. Please try! I hope that your experience is better than mine, and can give all of us a ray of hope.
    Btw,the Dept. Of Justice in this County launched an investigation of the City of South Miami CRA about 3 years ago, and we haven’t heard any findings whatsoever in all this time. Where is the oversight for these agencies?

  6. THe Miami-Dade State Attorney should become involved, if the City of Miami public officials refuse to do their duty to protect the public interest.

  7. Thanks to Grant Miller for calling all the garbage out wherever he sees it. Our County is a cesspool of corruption from the top down. I live in South Miami and Grant Miller has done a great job of reporting so much to the public, many of whom wouldn’t have a clue without his articles. Keep up your great work, Grant! Btw, Grant has been accurate and completely factual in his articles dealing with our Mayor, Philip Stoddard. I know this because I do my own due diligence, and have done so for years.

  8. I cannot believe this guy is still around in Miami politics. Who votes for this guy? Unbelievable. I remember when he was Mayor of Miami last century. Oh, yeah, and wasn’t he arrested for domestic violence after he threw a terra cotta tea pot at his wife. That’s all I got.

  9. I am Cuban and it is the likes of Joe that doomed Cuba. Sounds like he could fit right in with Batista’s hench men going after political rivals. A disgrace to the Cuban community. My apologies.

  10. Excellent suggestion. Now let’s see if the City Manager does anything or allows himself to be bullied by Mr. Corollo.

  11. Politicians are already considered poorly by many, and Miami politics have long been considered contemptible. Mr. Carollo just further lustifies the contempt many Miamians have for our elitist politicians. By the way, to the the best of my knowledge, Calle 8 is still part of the US and has never been declared an exclusively Latin enclave. Am I missing something, or is his attitude reflective of some misguided ethnic discrimination. As an elected official, he should know better. What a disgrace to all of Miami-Dade County. And what a disgrace to the people that voted for him.

  12. Sorry to hear that things haven’t changed in forty years. This should be the war cry of honest citizens to reform and rise in a peaceful revolution of all political parties…..

  13. Thanks Grant for calling out this outrageous behavior by a bully commissioner who disgraces the office he sits in. Such behavior is one of the reasons I left Miami.

  14. My opinion …america.has to be run by real.gringos ..white blue eyes …specially in Miami there is.a cuban.mafia…the.worse of.the.cuban.society

  15. All I can say is that Carollo is a disgrace to our community. My hope is that the likes of him are on the way out . I am so happy Ball & Chain did not feel intimidated by Carollo’s bullying. Let’s hope the City Manager and Commissioners will do their job!

  16. That things like that in Miami and Miami Dade county and City of West Miami is one of the major reason I left the Banana Republic with American Infrastructure, AKA Miami or Miami Dade County. Putting a parking control (a bunch of pilings and a gate that gets lock after +- 6PM so you can not use the beach access of Biscayne Bay to launch a Kayak early morning till the “man” opens it up. Forcing Residents to pay or buy a yearly pass to launch a boat on boat ramps that were made with my (our) tax money (DOUBLE TAXATION) the list of political shenanigan and other B.S. is endless, and that is just what I can see without special powers and resources that The Press (the friends of the people, when they are doing their jobs) have. The frosting on the cake is the traffic and the so well and efficiently run MiamiDade traffic or expressway authority (yes I am being funny.
    What can I say beyond, I left Miami-Dade, Miami its a nice place to visit (cause of friends and family) but you wouldn’t want to live there. I am being honest enough?

  17. Thank you Grant this guy has been a crook in Miami to long but still gets voted I I think with you article maybe his voting people will see him for what he really is.A CROOK

  18. Greta article and so glad you have exposed Carollo for what he is, of course he has always been in the mud but was voted in again by his crooked followers and minions.

  19. Schizoaffective disorder is a debilitating illness. While it can be managed with treatment and medications it is a life struggle. Sufferers should be treated with compassion and support not criticism .

  20. Not liking this attack by a journalist. Remember, there are three sides to every story; Joe’s, Fuller’s and the truth. Put out the facts… let the people make a decision without a biased print.

  21. Or the city of miami could simply put a drone in the air to take photos without landing on his property, that should get enough evidence to bring the carollo house of chicanery down.


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