Miami.— Plaintiffs of the Commissioner Joe CarolloBill Fuller and Martin Pinilla said the commissioner spent about $5 million in public money defending himself in a case he lost. In the municipality, as they affirmed, the officials who harassed their businesses for five years, if dismissed.
Little Havana businessmen Fuller and Pinilla, who have been waging a six-year legal battle against Commissioner Carollo and the city of Miami, welcomed the jury’s decision to award the commissioner $63 million in damages. Directo, Radio Station Actualidad Radio 1040 AM.
“As of April 12, Carollo’s lawyers cost $1.9 million,” said Channel 51 reporter Ana Cuervo, who was on the show.
“On April 10, jury selection began and the trial concluded on June 1. The rest, from April to May, we don’t know how much the city paid,” Cuervo said, adding that he unsuccessfully asked the city for an update on the commissioner’s defense costs.
Fuller, owner of Ball & Chain, reflected on the radio spot: “I want Carrollo to pay, the arbitrator wants Carrollo to pay. If he doesn’t pay, the system won’t change. In the current case, the city is not at fault, nor are the Miami taxpayers.”
According to the owner of Ball & Chain, expenses at Corte di Carlo exceeded 4 million. “The city attorney, Victoria Mendez, authorized court costs without the approval of the commission and without the approval of the taxpayers. She has no right to authorize those payments. No law gives you that right.”
“If the taxpayers pay, this will set a bad precedent. Tomorrow politicians can say, if I’m convicted of a crime, the city pays, the state pays, the state pays. Nothing changes that way. We want Carolo to pay. We’re going to follow his house in Coconut Grove, we’re going to look at his accounts… He did a lot of damage to our businesses, to our employees. “He’s guilty and we want him to pay,” Fuller insisted.
Merchant Carollo “dealt with city officials for a long time, starting with Attorney Mendez’s office, the administrator’s office,” he assured, adding, “The commissioner dealt with different departments, zones, buildings, so they would attack us. Businesses, our properties and our tenants.”
“He damaged our reputation and said that we have been cheating for five years and that we are building without permission. This has greatly affected the community, the banks, our investments and the opportunity to do more business,” he said.
“The best thing about the punishment is to restore our reputation,” he asserted.
Fuller and his partner own more than 40 properties in Little Havana, employing 100 people in their businesses. His tenants have another 500 employees and he admitted to paying $700,000 in property taxes. The businessman defines him as fear. He said there was still no guarantee that the commissioner would not try to close his business. “Miami residents need to understand what happened in that courthouse. We need to change the system, corruption is big in Miami,” he said.
He remarked, “Carolo, if you don’t follow his orders, he takes you out. He did it with (Police Chief) Jorge Colina, with (Police Chief) Art Acevedo, he did it with (Executive) Emilio Gonzalez, he did it in the highest positions in the city… I’m surprised Carollo isn’t in jail. . What he did was criminal,” Pinilla added for his part.
The case from the last hearing was against the commissioner, but a case is pending against the city for participating in the harassment of these two businessmen. However, Fuller and Pinilla said they are willing to reach an agreement with the city to avoid an upcoming audit that could affect the city’s coffers if Commissioner Carollo, City Manager Art Noriega and Attorney Mendez resign.
Between the two trials, there are more than 25 people to make up Carolo’s defense team. All of those costs are being borne by the city of Miami, which the plaintiffs said spent more than $5 million on their lawyers.
Businesses said they were surprised that no elected official in Miami had tried to convene a commission to address the issue of lawsuits and somehow control the costs to the city.
@ Cesar Menendez
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