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
|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.|
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:
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.
"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."