Monday, December 17, 2012

Is Miami Dade County Paying the Rent for The Christian Family Coalition? By Geniusofdespair

Eye on Miami Investigative Report on: The Christian Family Coalition Office

This is a followup to my last report, you should probably read it first. I have since gotten a few public records requests filled. First let's look at the State of Florida's registered address for the Christian Family Coalition:
In 3 sections the suite number is given as 104 so we have to assume it is accurate that they are in room 104.

The building the Christian Family Coalition is in is owned by the City of Hialeah. The County pays to rent a block of  rooms from the City of Hialeah in this same building, known as the Blanche Morton Center. They both agree room 104 is included in that block of rooms. On those  facts the City of Hialeah and the County are in agreement. They are also in agreement that Christian Family Coalition is paying neither the City or the County for the office space in this building. Then the story veers off. I got a floor plan from the City of Hialeah and a floor plan from Miami Dade County.

City of Hialeah Floor Plan
The Hialeah floor plan shows all the numbers in sequence and as you can see, THERE IS ONLY ONE ROOM 104 and it is controlled by Miami Dade County. The County does not dispute that they control this room 104.
Miami Dade County Floor Plan
Note on the County floor plan submitted to me, there are 2 Rooms 104. Very odd as the numbering in the Hialeah map makes sense and this second room 104 number does not.  If the County is right that there are are two rooms numbered 104, than they are off the hook. So it is in their best interest to have two rooms labeled 104.  The Christian Family Coalition could be sharing space with New Hope Community Center.

You have to realize that a lot of time elapsed between my requests and the actual documents sent to me. A lot of changes at the building could have been made in the interim (putting wrong paper numbers on 2 office doors) to protect someone from the County who is collecting mail for CFC and/or letting them use the office for free.

The county sent me this photo of the outer door of office 101 (Hialeah) or 104 (County).  Note there is a paper number identifying the number as 104. I have an arrow on a graphic to the right of the door as this same graphic is in my photo below.
Here is a photo I got from mapquest of the same office. Note there is no office number. The same paper graphic is pasted on the window.  Were the numbers 104 put on the door to office 101 recently to coverup that the CFC is using the other 104 controlled by the county?

Carmen Hernandez acting City Manager for Hialeah wrote on December 12th:

"Please see attached a current site plan for the Blanche Morton center and an account ledger for the New Hope Community Center.  They are currently renting room 101 not 104.  They have been a tenant since 2009 and have been paying rent since then ($385.87 a month, $405.16 since May 1st)."  

You would think after 3 years, they would know their room number. December 3rd Carmen Hernandez also wrote:

"Room 104 at Blanche Morton is occupied by Christian Family Coalition which is under the direction of Mr. Julio Perez."

 The county also supplied me with two interior photos of the two rooms labelled  104:

Note the 104 (that Hialeah said is room 101) is identified with a paper sign. I figure it could have just been stuck on a couple of days ago by whomever wanted to hide the fact that CFC is using the County room in its corporate papers.

December 14th I wrote to Assistant Director of Communications, Suzie Trutie:

"Apparently your floor plan that you previously sent, doesn't match up with Hialeah's floor plan attached.  They show only ONE room 104.  Note in your photos the numbers are made of paper, pasted on a door. Hialeah is showing only one room as 104, not 2 as your floor plan does.

 Also look at the two photos one from map quest of the same door as your photo….One has a number, the other does not. I am giving you an opportunity to make sure it is not the county trying to COVER it up.  It looks like that is what is going on.  Two 104's? That is the question you have ask yourself. "

December 14th Suzie Trutie responded:

"All of the information we submitted to you, including the floor plan, is based on two Miami-Dade County employees visiting the site on December 6 and other County staff researching and reviewing our agreement with the City of Hialeah. The County stands by its statements and documents." As I’ve mentioned previously, Miami-Dade County leases space from the City of Hialeah, who is the owner of the facility. Only the City of Hialeah can explain their facility operations and policies."

For once Hialeah is making more sense than the County.  Why, in a small building would two office numbers be the same.  That is insane.

Here is Miami Dade County's written response to my public records request:

"In response to the attached article concerning room 104 at the Hialeah Neighborhood Service center located at 300 East 1st Avenue, in Hialeah, Margaret Araujo, Real Estate Office Internal Services and Karen Alexander, Community Action Human Services visited the site on Thursday, December 6, 2012, to physically verify the square footage that the County currently occupies. The County currently leases space from the City of Hialeah at the Blanche Morton Neighborhood Service Center. The lease concurs with the current square footage occupied by the County, as per floor plan attached. The County does not pay for room 104 located at the southeast corner of the building and room 11, the common area lounge. The inspection confirms that there is a block of rooms within room 106, which were identified as rooms 103, 104, 105 and 106. The County also currently occupies rooms 109 and 110 located in the hallway. The total square footage for all those rooms is 899 square feet.

There are two rooms labeled as 104, one is leased by the County as indicated above and the second one is occupied by New Hope Community Center. Staff saw no signs in this suite by the name of Christian Family Coalition. The County does not lease this space. A gentleman at New Hope, who preferred not to identify himself, indicated that he has been leasing directly from the City of Hialeah for approximately four years. Prior to leasing this space, New Hope leased space directly from the office of former City of Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina. (ME: Well that is certainly interesting). The space leased to New Hope has two doors, one leading directly to the parking lot and one leading to the hallway."
I find the fact that the County claims they did not know about the CFC being there not very reliable as a Social Worker answering a County phone knew they were there and so did the City Clerk in Hialeah.  Julio Perez, a partner with CFC, was on the Hialeah Faith Based Advisory Group. He is mentioned above by the Acting Hialeah Clerk. So again I ask, is the County paying the rent for the Christian Family Coalition? The only thing that make me believe the County is not paying their rent, is this Wikilink to the New Hope Community Center.
New Hope Community Center is linked to the Christian Family Coalition Officers Verdugo and Perez.  If they are all in one room, 101, they had better start getting the room number right and get the County off the hook and stop claiming that they are in a second room 104. The only one paying Hialeah rent on the actual room 104 is Miami Dade County. The New Hope Community Center is paying for Room 101. Funny there were no corporate papers for "New Hope Community Center" with these 3 names on it. I just stumbled across this diagram.
If Miami Dade County is right--and I now think they are--they need to tell the CFC that they should cease using a duplicate of the County's room number, a number that Hialeah officials don't even recognize, so there is a clear separation of the two entities. Why do I have to point it out to them and do all this digging? The County should have cleared this up themselves by contacting the Hialeah City Government after they acknowledged there were 2 rooms with the same number in a very small building. This is not the norm. Since the Christian Family Coalition is known as a polarizing group in the community it is important to have a clear separation from the County. I am bothered enough that they are on the same floor with County offices.


Anonymous said...

What I can't understand, when the County acknowledged there were 2 104 rooms, why didn't they call Hialeah and find out why? Since Hialeah says there aren't, the County should have told them to stop using their room number because of the controversy with the group occupying the second 104. Why did they advise you to clear it up?

Maria said...

You can fault the county because they didn't clear this situation up.

G.o.D. can't call the City of Hialeah or the New Hope center, and say "stop using the County room number" only the county can and they should immediately. By appearance they are paying the rent for CFC.

Hugo Knot said...

Just saying, the County put a lot of time and effort into this, and it looks like it is a waste of that time and effort (tax money).

They could have saved both by picking up the phone and straightened it out. The County should have made Hialeah to go over there and put the correct numbers on all doors. Done. That would have used up Hialeah tax dollars, not county.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if a county commissioner was assisting with this corrupt situation?
Thank You Genius for exposing this mess. I think you will receive more information on other situations. THey tried cover up but you got them red handed.

Geniusofdespair said...

I don't think they did cover up. I think the only thing the County did wrong was refuse to CLEAR UP.

When they saw there were two rooms 104 they should have been concerned and remedied the situation as 'Hugo Knot' said above (because of the polarizing nature of the tenant in the room with the same number), not just acknowledged it to me.

Make sure you read to the END of this post.

peggy said...

I don't trust anyone over at the county government. I think they are all lying. Where is the lazy Inspector General when you need him?

Anonymous said...

Question: Why would a man in office 101/104 refuse to identify himself? What is he hiding?

Anonymous said...

I assure you Com. Bovo knows all the above facts, since he lives in Hialeah, was a councilman in Hialeah, was a State Rep. for the area and now a commissioner representing the area. AND just happen to be the closest friend of this group after slim Jim (PEPE)

Anonymous said...

Great Work.

Rick said...

Please check your email, GoD!!!


Anonymous said...

You're not really going to base your thought that there is no cover up on a wiki diagram?
Those things link anyone with same addresses, same sounding names, etc. Of course they're going to be linked, if they're both in same building. The are 20 offices in my building and the manta profile of my company has me linked with the other 19.
Maybe you can check with US postal service abouth where and to what # they delivermail? If you send something to #101 and/or #104, who will sign for it?