After Mayor Giménez used official staff for political purposes, concerned Miami-Dade citizens demand administration’s official records
After the release of shocking text messages, new requests will shed light on Giménez’s use of taxpayer-funded staff for political gain
Last week, the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust opened an investigation into Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez, after evidence surfaced that Giménez asked his county staff to do political work supporting his upcoming run for Congress.
Public records requests that led to the investigation turned up text messages between Miami-Dade County Communications Director Myriam Marquez, Chief of Staff Alex Ferro, and Assistant Director of Communications Patty Abril.
In their text messages, the three discussed a response to a new Florida Democratic Party advertisement explicating Giménez’s long history of corruption. The messages show that Giménez himself was in the loop and directing their response.
This week, concerned citizens of Miami-Dade are beginning to file more public records requests with the County to investigate the extent to which Giménez is employing political operatives on his taxpayer-funded staff.
“I am very concerned that Mayor Giménez is using his county staff, whose salaries we pay, to further his political ambitions as he prepares to run for Congress,” said Michelle Garcia, who today filed new public records requests to Giménez’s office. “As more instances of his use of taxpayer money to enrich himself and his family members come to light, we need to get to the bottom of his corruption.”
Ms. Garcia’s full public records request is below:
“Pursuant to the Public Records Act, Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes, and in light of reports that the Mayor’s office used official resources to advance his political career, I, a concerned citizen of Miami-Dade County, am writing to request:
- A list of every current employee (name and job title) in the Office of the Mayor and the Communications Department (Director’s Office).
- The annualized salaries of the above.
- The resumes or CVs of the above, indicating their qualifications to serve in the role they hold.
If you refuse to provide this information, Chapter 119 requires you advise me in writing and indicate the applicable exemption to the Public Records Act. You must state with particularity the reasons for your decision, as required by Section 119.07(2)(a). If the exemption you are claiming only applies to a portion of the records, please delete that portion and provide photocopies of the remainder of the records, as stipulated by Section 119.07(2)(a).
I agree to pay the actual cost of duplication as defined in Section 119.07(1)(a). However, if you anticipate that in order to satisfy this request, "extensive use" of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance as defined in Section 119.07(1)(b) will be required, please provide a written estimate and justification.
I request these records be available as soon as possible, and no later than Monday, January 27, 2020. If you have any questions or need more information in order to expedite this request, please respond to this message directly.