Friday, September 22, 2017

Must Have Hit A Nerve

Two days ago, I received a "Cease and Desist Order/ Take Down Demand" from lawyers representing Mayor Kreps.   It was in regard to an earlier post, linked here, in which I asked her to speak to the reports that she is a target of a federal investigation.  Specifically, I asked her to either categorically deny these reports or recuse herself until the investigation is complete, so that the commission's actions would not be under a cloud of suspicion.  Her constant sniping about Dr. Hornsby along with her maniacal insistence that the commission fire Village Manager Frank Rollason and Village Attorney Robert Switkes make no sense.  

I ran the piece through the Fleisch-Kincaid readability test which reported it was easily understandable by anyone with 10.6 years of schooling.   If you did read the piece, I think even the most careless reading will see that the point of the piece is to say that in light of the reports, which I am hearing from both the dais and other protected sources, that the mayor should clear these up or take a step that would allow the village business to be unclouded.  

I have never accused our mayor of excessive intellect and so her lawyers wrote me the letter you can see at this link.  Click Here For The Cease and Desist

I am sharing my response to the mayor's lawyers below:

Ms. Donaire and Ms. Baker, I cannot accommodate Mrs. Kreps demands, communicated through you, for the simple reason that the assertions are factually incorrect.  At no time do I make any allegations.  Even the most careless reading of my posting would make it clear that I am discussing the reports, both public and through protected sources, of the investigation.   

Again, since I did not make the allegations you state, it is impossible for me to comply with your demand to remove nonexistent text and it would appear your sole intent is to squelch discussion of this important matter.  

I do understand the mayor's concern about the damage to her reputation, although that is of her own doing, and would like to reiterate my long standing offer that she, like any other involved citizen, is welcome in the Facebook group I administer, North Bay Village Residents Speak, to participate in community conversations and I will also reiterate my standing invitation for the Mayor to post (unedited) as a guest on my personal blog,  

Finally, let me conclude with a question.   Your incorrect assertions on what I had written reference an FBI investigation.  Naturally I did not write about that as I know of no such participation by the FBI.  I wonder if you can confirm for me that the FBI is actively involved?  

Best Regards,
Kevin Vericker
Seriously, poor Mrs. Kreps is befuddled, demanding that nonexistent content be removed because in America North Bay Village, the mayor must not be questioned?

Well, lo and behold, the Miami New Times picked up the story and ran with it.  You can see that here.

What a mess.  But I stand by what I wrote.  I'll keep you posted.

Kevin Vericker
September 22, 2017

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mayor Kreps and Commissioner Alvarez Should Step Aside

The unspoken shadow over the North Bay Village Commission are the reports that Mayor Kreps and Commissioner Alvarez are under criminal federal investigation for using the US mail to extort a fellow commissioner into either resigning or complying with their demands to fire the village manager.  The 2 issues are a violation of the Federal Hobbs Act, which makes extortion of a public official a federal crime and and mail fraud.  
For more on the original issue, see the blog post here.

Those who are familiar with the sad history of NBV politics know that such a situation is entirely plausible.

Normally, this would just be another case of North Bay Village Crazy™  but if there is an investigation happening and the Mayor and Commissioner Alvarez are aware of being targets, we got a problem.  The federal penalties for the violation of the Hobbs act are severe and it is deeply concerning that Kreps and Alvarez are focusing on firing the village manager and village attorney at this time of crisis.  The only people who would benefit from this would potentially be them because that would reduce the pressure to investigate and prosecute this extortion attempt.  They should not be making decisions about this grave matter at this time.  

There is an easy way to handle this.  Commissioner Alvarez and Mayor Kreps could simply:
  • From the dais, state categorically that they had nothing to do with the extortion attempt.  We can assume they would be telling the truth since it is an offense under the Miami Dade Bill of Rights for an elected official to deliberately misstate the truth in their official capacity and an outright lie would add further complications to their situation, if there is one.
  • If the reports of a criminal investigation soon to be closed are true, and they do not want to speak about this publicly for fear of compromising their own positions, then they should recuse themselves from participating this Tuesday in the meeting.  There would still be quorum and the process could move along.
  • Finally, if they were involved in the extortion attempts, they could either resign or admit it and explain themselves to the public.

Now I don't think they will.  Mayor Kreps screwed over too many people to get herself in the position she's in and I believe her to be a fundamentally flawed person but if there is to be healing for her and the Village, confession will be good for both.

As re Commissioner Alvarez, even when he's there, he's not.  He clearly doesn't want the job, hates being up there, never speaks or even asks questions.   He's in way over his head and should resign.  

Kevin Vericker
September 17, 2017