Commissioner Joe Carollo: “Florida law supports me, they can’t take my house away”

He auction edict, which was published on Wednesday, February 14 in the Miami New Times, promotes an auction of Carollo’s belongings, including his place of residence, on March 19. “The subject property is being sold ‘as is’ and ‘where is,’” the notice read.

In this regard, Carollo said in a press conference that “every homeowner in Miami or throughout Florida should be scared by what is happening because this is an attack not only against me, but against anyone who owns a home.” ”.

According to his explanation, “Florida law protects me“, and according to his statements, this is what the Marshall of the case acknowledged to his lawyers, who is the agent carrying out the asset confiscation process.

“He told them (the lawyers) that yes, that it is Florida law that governs this, that Florida law protects me, but that they will continue until a federal judge tells them no,” he said.

According to the plaintiff, Carollo returned to the Coconut Grove home, which he acquired about three decades ago, after seven years, when the trial was beginning, in order to protect the property.

Carollo: “I don’t have another house”

On this matter, the municipal legislator argued that “I didn’t have another house, everyone knows that. “My house was never rented.”

He elucidated that He lived somewhere else, but never bought another house.. He implied that he was renting an apartment because he “didn’t know if he was going to win or lose,” presumably in the two elections he faced to reach the Commission twice. The current one is his second period.

“Florida law is very clear, you can move the day before they rule against you and (the property) is protected,” he stated.

He also stated that on March 8 the attorney for the two plaintiff businessmen, “in a motion signed under oath by his two clients,” said that “if I moved to that house, then I would be protected by Homestead (Exemption) and “They weren’t going to be able to do what they’re trying to do right now.”

Last week, as he said, “in other motions that the lawyer presented, he said that I was moving because he had photos of a truck on April 23 of last year for the house in Coconut Grove, the ruling came and was signed on June 5, We are talking about a month and a half later.”

Regarding this, Carollo again specified that “Florida laws indicate that you can move the day before they rule against you and (the property) is protected.”

He maintained that “I am not confident in anything that this judge is going to do, what I am confident in is what I am going to do, with God being the one who is going to take care of me and direct me.”

He concluded by mentioning out loud the date “March 19”, to which he added that “they are thinking that they are going to have a party in Coconout Grove, at my and my wife’s house, I suggest that you do not buy the tickets yet because it is not going to happen.” pass”.

Carollo has been ordered by a court to pay the sum of 63.5 million dollars to businessmen Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla, for an alleged violation of his First Amendment rights.

According to these businessmen, Carollo would have undertaken a “personal vendetta against them”, after they supported Carollo’s political rival for the position of commissioner, Alfonso ‘Alfie’ León, in the 2018 municipal elections.

The property came into dispute as part of the commissioner’s assets in order to cover, in part, the amount assigned by the judge. Records indicate that the home was purchased by Carollo almost three decades ago for an approximate value of $570,000.

Homestead Exemption

DIARIO LAS AMÉRICAS was able to verify at the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s Office that, in fact, there is a request from the commissioner, “satisfactorily approved”, which means that your home was linked to that program.

What is in question for some lawyers is whether the request was submitted in time to be taken into account by the judge in the case. However, for fellow lawyer Raúl Espinoza, who was consulted by our newspaper to obtain his legal opinion, time “has nothing to do with this.”

The civil attorney, who is not working for any of the parties in the conflict, stated that “the Florida Constitution protects a person who lives at his or her primary residence, where his or her family is.”

According to Espinoza, “the owner is protected against the vast majority of creditors,” and he cited, among those excepted, “mortgage creditors, builders who have made an improvement, the treasury, if there is a scam involved and “He used the money from that crime to pay for a house.”

He noted that “here they are not saying that the commissioner committed fraud, or that he stole some money, but rather certain actions that he did during his administration, therefore, I do not see how the creditor can put an interest in the commissioner’s house.” .

He also said that the “alleged evidence that the commissioner withdrew his Homestead Exemption a few years ago, to reduce his taxes, is not a determining factor.”

Regarding that point, the lawyer explained that the fact that a person does not have the tax exemption, “does not imply that that same person has not had a Florida home and is protected.”

“The difference with the Homestead Exemption in tax matters is that the person has to apply for the benefit, however from the point of view of residence, it is immediate, and the person has protection from the moment they move there.” ”, he asserted.