Monday, June 14, 2010

It Was Only $3000 and Other Mendacious Excuses

The documents released by the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics regarding their investigation of Vice Mayor George Kane detail that our Vice Mayor pleaded no contest to the accusation that he used his office for a personally profitable deal, specifically the move of City Hall to the Lexi.

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics found that the proposal by a sitting commissioner (Kane), putting the item on the agenda (Kane) and promoting the move while standing to gain a commission from the deal was illegal. That Kane recused himself from the final vote does not change that.

Accordingly, the Commission on Ethics agreed to accept the amount of the commission estimated at $12,500 per year for two years (total $25,000) paid to North Bay Village instead of Beach Realty in lieu of prosecution. The documents are in this posting.

The whole affair is classic. A sitting commissioner uses his office to propose a move that will personally benefit him. When caught out, Kane agreed to give back the money.

This is like getting caught shoplifting. I understand most retail outfits do not press charges if the shoplifter returns the merchandise and signs a statement to not go back to the store. The excuses "oh, it fell in my backpack." or "I could have sworn I paid for it." don't hold water.

George Kane needs to do the same. He got caught, agreed to the charge, and now should go away.

The two excuses given by the way were classic. It was only $12,500 (yeah, per year) and Mr. Kane himself that he would only see about $3,000 (yeah, per year.) It's at a point where he doesn't even bother to lie.

There was more at the Commission Meeting June 8.

Maybe my favorite was once again Good & Welfare. Those righteous residents who scream corruption at every turn had nothing to say about George Kane's deal.

The interim City Manager who has been on the job for two months had no report. Apparently apart from the projection of a 26% decrease in ad valorem taxes, the budget overages, the police union negotations, the decision to hire a consultant to run day to day operations, the zoning issues, the plan to bring in yet another consultant to manage the budgeting, nothing happened in the last 60 days that the commission or citizens need to know about. Just to stay calm, folks, it's all under control.

We are a city without government.

Kevin Vericker
June 13, 2010

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