How does Commissioner Joe Carollo approach a new lawsuit?

Just days after the confiscation of Carollo’s personal assets was ordered, the owners of the Ball and Chain nightclub, Fuller and Pinilla, filed a new legal action to try to remove him from the District 3 seat.

“The Charter of the City of Miami begins with a Citizens’ Bill of Rights. Any public official or employee whom the court determines has willfully violated this section shall immediately lose his or her position or employment.”the lawsuit reads.

Fuller and Pinilla previously won a civil lawsuit against the commissioner and former Miami mayor, who was ordered by a court to pay $63.5 million in damages. Days later, the legislator’s salary was seized and a procedure was initiated to confiscate some of his assets.

The businessmen claim that Carollo allegedly undertook “personal revenge against them” after they supported his rival Alfonso ‘Alfie’ León, in the 2018 municipal elections.

In the midst of the new controversy, Commissioner Carollo spoke with DIARIO LAS AMÉRICAS and assured that the case must be dismissed by the court because, in his opinion, the process that gave rise to it is still pending an appeal.

Meanwhile, the holder of the seat on the Miami Commission associated the legal claims of the plaintiffs with the arrival at the municipal legislative body of its two new members, Damián Pardo and Miguel Ángel Gabela, of whom he questioned certain procedures to finance their campaigns and alleged actions. related to the figure of the lawyer of the Miami city council.

As far as Gabela is concerned, Carollo mentioned an alleged “sealed case” of police arrest “so that it is not possible to see what happened” and a loan to a bank that would not have been repaid, in addition to alleged efforts in the Commission to appoint a new lawyer for the Miami city council, who would then come “to reconcile economic demands” , he said, with the businessmen who took him to court.

-How do you receive the new legal action from the owners of Ball and Chain?

These bar owners and others in the group, who in the past owned garbage trucks, are the new pillars of Miami. If Al Capone were alive, he would have come to Miami, but quickly, because he would have felt good here. Many in the press and community would have loved him. These gentlemen, who practically every week present a new demand to the City (city council) or to me, say now, after they could not remove me from the position in two elections, even with a recall and a re-election two years ago that I won with a 75%, that they have to remove me from office because they say that before a Broward jury I did not let them speak and that I interfered with their constitutional right to speak. And I say to you: Don’t you see them talking, attacking me and the City of Miami on a weekly basis? No one has prevented them from speaking. They have even held press conferences in front of City Hall, they have gone to the Commission to attack me personally. So what’s the story that I didn’t let them talk? Neither the City nor I can respond to this last state demand because they have not sent it to us, and thus we cannot respond to something that they have not given us. What these people did immediately presented the lawsuit to the court was to give it to the press, to the press that they think will defend them. How are they going to be able to remove me from office when this is a country of laws and processes? The process in that trial that they took me to in Broward has not yet been appealed by us. In other words, it is an open process on which no other judge can make any determination until that process is completed. I have been waiting for more than seven months for what is required by law that we have to present before the judge of the trial, who has me in a limbo, he has us hostage, knowing that we cannot appeal until he determines it. If we know he’s going to go against me, why then go to all the trouble to make a ruling, instead of having me violate my rights to appeal. What these gentlemen want is to try to use a lot of the press that is protecting them to have a constant attack. But the truth is that the target of the main attack is not me, it is the residents and employees of the City of Miami, because those are the ones they want to scare the most by falling on me.

-You point to a sector of the local press that would be supporting these people, but there are rules and people within the City of Miami as a government and in the Commission who are there to enforce them. What does he think about that?

They (plaintiff businessmen) have brought two new members to the Commission, who have fully supported them to do what they want. And as I said even before the elections, if these gentlemen arrive (to the Commission), they are going to want to destroy the City, and that is precisely where they are going, because among the demands that these gentlemen who own bars and former owners of Garbage trucks are asking the City, among all their demands, for well over $100 million, I think up to $125 million or more. What they want is that when the new contract of the City lawyer expires in five months, with the new lawyer they put in to say that they have to reach an agreement with these people, that they have to pay them millions of dollars and that is what’s going on here, and they’re counting on it. In other words, the ones who really get the upper hand are the residents of Miami to loot the residents’ money, so that no one dares to complain about anything, that they can do whatever they want and that no employee of the City of Miami dares to do their job, and that they are the only ones who can do what they want in Miami.

-Who are those people who, according to you, have brought these businessmen to the Miami Commission to carry out those procedures that you are commenting on?

They are the two new commissioners. Mr. (Damián) Pardo, who still does not want to answer or show the evidence of where the 165,000-odd dollars came from, which he says he put into the campaign out of his own pocket. The other is the ‘handsome guy from the lot’, Mr. (Miguel Ángel) Gabela, who even when he wanted to interrupt me so that I wouldn’t speak after I had to hear everything he wanted to say, he interrupted me and it wasn’t enough, and he came to try to hit me, if not stopped by a Miami City police officer who was there. This is a man who has a sealed police file of an arrest. Imagine if Carollo had a sealed police arrest that no one knew what it was for. But this man can have it and nobody says anything.

-What is that case, commissioner?

This is a case that this man had in his past, and I don’t know what it is. I have heard rumors that it was due to violence, but I don’t know, what I do know is that he was arrested and has the case sealed so that it is not possible to see what happened. If it were me, the press would be demanding that it be taught. At the same time, this Mr. Gabela, who says that he gave 28,000 or so dollars out of his pocket for his campaign, on November 1st. A court ruled that he owed TD Bank $58,000-odd because of one of the loans he and his company acquired during COVID, for $50,000, he had not ‘paid back’ (repay) a cent .

-Where should the new process against you point? You say you haven’t been notified yet. Do you plan to appeal once you are notified?

There is no need to appeal here. Simply present to the court that there is no case here and any judge understands that a process that is not finished must be gone through, and that I have the right to appeal (in the pending process in Broward). There is no doubt that I feel persecuted. We’ve had these people attacking me and going against me for how many years?

Commissioner Miguel Ángel Gabela responds to his colleague Joe Carollo in another note published in