Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Selection of a New County Commission Chair Coming Soon, Don't let it be Steve Bovo!! Guest Blog By Chairwatcher

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and County Commissioner Steve Bovo
Only five months away from selecting a new Miami Dade Commission Chairperson and already several commissioners are jockeying for the position. The selection of the Chairperson will be voted on by the current commission members in November of this year and the new Chairperson will be sworn in on January of 2017. The position of Chairperson is extremely powerful since the person selected for the position sets the county agenda, does Committee assignments and moderates all of the commission meetings.

So far, the three leading candidates to become the next Commission Chairperson are current Vice Chair Esteban Bovo, and Commissioners Rebeca Sosa and Audrey Edmonson.
Marco Rubio Swears in Steve Bovo as Vice Chair of the County Commission

An issue of concern in the selection of the new Chairperson process is the association of Commissioner Esteban Bovo to the American Dream Miami megamall project planned by a Canadian company for the Northwest Dade quadrant of 1-75 and the Florida Turnpike.

The megamall is intended to be built on a 200 acre rural tract and is opposed by the majority of citizens in Palm Springs North and Miami Lakes due to the fact that it will bring additional congestion to an area already besieged with major traffic problems. According to Commissioner Bovo the $4 billion project will bring 25,000 jobs to the community and will aid the local economy. The project is also supported by Mayor Carlos Gimenez who throughout the last four years has relied on Commission Bovo as his closest ally in the Board of County Commissioners.

The selection of Commissioner Esteban Bovo as Commission Chairman, in my opinion, would in essence solidify Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s total control of county government since Commissioner Bovo would play a key role in rubber stamping all of Mayor Gimenez’s proposals on the commission. At a time when other commissioners are actively considering removing some or all of the powers of the strong mayor format, selecting Commissioner Bovo as Commission Chairman would not be beneficial to the citizens of our county.

Another glaring issue that should be addressed during the course of the selection process of the new Commission Chairperson is Commissioner Bovo’s role in the 2012 election absentee ballot fraud investigation.

As previously reported in 2012, Commissioner Bovo had to explain himself to the State Attorney’s Office for the actions of his former employee Anamary Pedrosa. Pedrosa was given immunity by the State Attorney’s Office and she cooperated with police in providing evidence that convicted known Hialeah boletero Sergio “Tio” Robaina. Robaina transported a total of 164 illegally collected absentee ballots to Commissioner Bovo’s office. The ballots were collected and stored by Pedrosa at Commissioner Bovo’s Hialeah regional office. Though the State Attorney’s Office failed to file criminal charges against Commissioner Bovo or to use Pedrosa’s testimony against the commissioner it is highly unlikely that Pedrosa operated on her own but rather would have collected absentee ballots from Robaina with the knowledge of Commisioner Bovo.

Commissioner Bovo’s selection of employees has also come into question on more than one occasion in the past. His current Executive Director Alina Garcia was a longtime aide to U.S. Representative David Rivera. Garcia is the mother of Senator Marco Rubio’s regional director, Alyn Fernandez (formerly Alyn Cruz Higgins). Ms. Fernandez owned a consulting company, ACH Fundraising Strategies, which received $75,000 from Rep. Rivera’s state Senate campaign for conducting a supposed “thank you” campaign. ACH was incorporated one day after a $50,000 payment was made from Rep. Rivera’s campaign and dissolved less than six months later. Notably, investigators found Ms. Fernandez never actually did any work for Rep. Rivera, in part because she was never given any direction as to the services she was to provide. ACH did have one other customer: Sen. Rubio’s campaign, which paid $22,000 to the firm for financial and political consulting, including a $10,000 payment made the day before the company dissolved. Ms. Fernandez is currently Sen. Rubio’s regional director, with a salary of $69,999.84.

Commissioner Bovo’s current Legislative Director Alex Annunziato, in my opinion, should not be working in Bovo's office. Annunziato, a former lieutenant with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) resigned from his position on July 10, 2011, coincidentally following an internal Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation. FHP allegations were dismissed by the Dept. of Law Enforcement in 2012 (see letter below). In other words, Annunziato WAS CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES by their dismissal.

In my opinion, Commission Bovo would absolutely be the worst possible choice for County Commission Chair in November.


Anonymous said...

Please no Bovo!!!!

Anonymous said...

Many of the county commissioners have shady streaks. Bovo seems to lead the sleaze factor. Vote him out ASAP, do not make him chair.

Geniusofdespair said...

With the Absentee ballot collection: He had to know what his aide was doing and if he didn't he is totally incompetent. I agree, this is not the right candidate for the Chair position.

Anonymous said...

Forget the idea that any Chair will be a rubber stamp for Gimenez. The voters will bounce Gimenez from office on August 30th.

Anonymous said...

Great article! Let's take this piece by piece. In 2012 Commissioner Bovo's aide stored absentee ballots in Bovo's regional office and subsequently dropped them off at a post office. She was caught doing it and subsequently given immunity from prosecution? WHY? Even the ballot broker arrested in the case admitted "collecting ballots for Bovo". What was the State Attorney's Office trying to hide? Normally you give immunity to an individual who is willing to cooperate with police in exchange for not going to prison. In such cases, the information provided to police is utilized to indict a "bigger fish". Why provide immunity to an aide and not file criminal charges against Bovo? It is obvious he was aware of her ongoing criminal activity. He should Have been criminally charged accordingly.
Your report reveals that Commissioner Bovo's current commission office assistant is a political fly connected to Marco Rubio whose daughter received soft monies from Rep. David Rivera for a task she could not account for. Are law enforcement naive or ill intended? Do they not know that such method is utilized by politicians to pay operatives for the collection of absentee ballots and negative campaign advertisement? Wake up FDLE, you have a ballot broker working for the county and noone cares to investigate.
You also report that Commissioner Bovo's legal aide Alexander Annunziato was forced to resign from FHP for opening sealed dog scent packs filled with narcotics and replacing them with sugar, lactose and other substances. What happened to the cocaine, heroin, etc.? The FDLE paints a pretty interesting picture. Why was this individual not arrested for stealing cocaine, heroin, etc. as any other common citizen would? More so, how can this individual be accepted to the Florida Bar and be hired with a juicy county job by Commissioner Bovo?
Seems to me Commissioner Bovo is running an office more closely resembling an organized crime ring than a county government office. Somewhere out there there must be a police agency willing to dig deep and uncover the true nature of that office. God hope someone else such as Commissioner Cava, Edmonson or anyone else is picked as chair in November.

Anonymous said...

They usually don't have blacks or Hispanics two terms in a row. So forget Audrey.

Anonymous said...

Too bad, Audrey does love intrigue and power.

Anonymous said...

Ask anyone at the County building and they will tell you that Estevan Bovo's assistant Alina Garcia is a ballot broker. She is the conduit by which monies are paid by politicians from PACS to boleteras. Bovo uses Garcia to control absentee ballots in Hialeah. An in-depth look into her finances will reveal the payments. In the past she has worked for that sleaze David Rivera as well as Mayor Gimenez. In fact, she is more than likely laying the groundwork now to steal another election in August of this year. Business as usual in Miami.

Anonymous said...

Not having an honest Dtate Attorney has allowed this political crooks to get away with anything, anytime, on any item. It has become bolder with the passage of time. Bovo, Eddie Gonzalez, Gimenez, Rundle all work with and use the same corrupt people who are so called campaign operatives. We need the Feds to come here and stay here. Otherwise there is no hope because we are the Capitol of public corruption

Anonymous said...

Not surprised that Commissioner Esteban Bovo would have an in-house absentee ballot broker working in the county. He learned the absentee ballot trade early in his political career in Hialeah then took it to Tallahassee where he, Rep. David Rivera and Marco Rubio benefited from it for years. Bovo prides himself as being a power broker in Hialeah and as was proven in the past mayoral election, he was instrumental in collecting absentee ballots at his county office to help Gimenez and Katherine Rundle win those elections. Shame on every level of law enforcement in this county for permitting this vermin of a commissioner to steal elections and deprive us our of constitutional right to elect our political representatives free of coercion and fraud.

Anonymous said...

Damn. I once met Alexander Annuziato and he seemed like a young, conservative policy wonk unwilling to help social causes. How dirty!

Anonymous said...

They had Bovo's aid on film at a police station resealing scent packs that contained dangerous narcotics. They were able to tell he had replaced heroin, cocaine, etc., with other substances. The weight of the packages was different. What did he do with the narcotics? Did he sell them or used them to feed a narcotics habit? Why was this individual not prosecuted? Why did Bovo hire him knowing what he had done? Why won't The Miami Herald and other newspaper publish these sort of things? What an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

State Attorney Rundle has long been connected to the same political consultants. Her current pac received money from Progress Miami, run by same chairman of Gimenez' pacs (the guy who helped Pacific National Back launder $$). Her pac did not report the donation in her recent financial report. When I reported it, the Miami-Dade Elections Commission said nothing!

Juan said...

Bovo..UGH Is the worst..he is a fox in fox clothing....he is also a mouth piece for Genting. Former job was also Hialeah Race Track..gambling “R” US.

He is Giminez's hit man.

With him as chair and if Martinez comes back replacing Zapata…thy will ram through the and friends agendas.

Through the commission…Audrey only gets religion at Election time ..double ugh. She will also be controlled by the cadre of lobbyists..and developers..juts look at her list of campaign contributors.

Sosa: is angling to be next Mayor and wants the Chair’s position to help launch her campaign..she had her shot..she did some positive things but also folded under Giminez’s on-slaught on many items. The best Chair would be Daniella..hence the others will not elect her. None of these are good choices other than Daniella and it underscores the lack of quality leadership on the county Commission!