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


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