Corrupt Carlos Gives A $368 Million Contract To Friends And Donors
A new report from the Miami New Times shows that Carlos Giménez gave a $368 million county contract for bus rapid transit to a company that is deeply connected to him politically and personally.
“This is another example of Corrupt Carlos handing millions of tax-payer dollars to his friends and donors, using his position for his own personal gain,” said Florida Democratic Party Spokeswoman, Alexandra Caffrey. “First Giménez went against the requests of his community asking for rail. Then, he rewarded his wealthy friends and campaign donors with this contract. We cannot allow this corruption to represent South Florida in Congress.”
“Records show the push for BRT and the company that ultimately won the contract are tied to Giménez and several of his associates who are known movers and shakers in the Miami political scene.”
“OHL, the company that won the contract, is represented by prominent lobbyists Jorge Luis Lopez and Pablo Acosta, each of whom has his own history with Giménez. Lopez…has been seen posing for photos with Giménez at various county events. In late June, he also contributed $2,800 to Giménez’s congressional campaign, according to campaign-finance filings.”
“OHL’s other lobbyist, Acosta, worked alongside Lopez to defuse a scandal in 2012 when the Heat was accused of cheating taxpayers out of profits the team had promised to share. Both Acosta and Garcia-Toledo were part of Giménez’s “entourage” when he ran for mayor in 2011 and met with activist and 2 Live Crew rapper Luther Campbell to try to secure an endorsement. And Giménez was briefly employed as a government operations consultant for the now-defunct Steel Hector & Davis law firm, which Acosta worked for.”
“For years, residents and commissioners from the southern part of the county have been asking for a Metrorail expansion to relieve congestion and better connect residents to their jobs elsewhere in Miami-Dade. But in 2018, at the behest of Giménez, the county’s transportation board opted to forgo rail construction in favor of a new bus system.”
“Ralph Garcia-Toledo, a lobbyist and the owner of a construction company that has worked on several county projects, was one of the loudest voices in advocating for BRT over rail expansion alongside Giménez in 2018 and met with several members of the transportation board before it voted in favor of BRT, according to the Miami Herald… Garcia-Toledo also arranged a Hong Kong meeting between Giménez and the casino company Genting, which is pushing for a controversial monorail project between Miami Beach and the mainland, according to a county ethics investigation.”