Saturday, May 06, 2017

Hudstead Never Fails Us. By Geniusofdespair

Patricia Fairclough, Vice Mayor of the city of Homestead was REQUESTED to apply to be principal of a school that got a $175,000 grant from the city. An ethics opinion was requested and in July they gave her the okay.  In fact the amount was $775,000 not $175,000 that should have been in the Ethics request letter written to Joe Centorino of Ethics by Homestead City Attorney Richard Weiss. She subsequently got the job -- no surprise there.  She was EMPLOYED by the school board when the money was voted on.

How about giving Joe Centorino the correct facts Richard Weiss? Weiss also told Centorino the $175,000 went for "Computer Equipment".  It did not. Is Richard Weiss aware of the wrong information he supplied to the ethics department? And, wasn't ethics considering the wrong conflict? How about quid quo pro?

The $775,000 was combined with GOB funds, and went for design and construction.  In 2013 the amount the city CRA authorized was $775,000 to help reconfigure the school into a middle school. Is this not a misuse of CRA funds?

In 2015 the school board picked MCM and gave them GOB money for the school conversion job (Project No. 01335300). There was a GOB budget for $6,679,129 for this project and others.

Did Fairclough get a REWARD from the School Board for voting for the $775,000 or is she truly a qualified person to be a Principal of the school? Your guess is as good as mine. I have not seen her resume or who else applied for the job. According to Weiss she was "requested to apply". Does that happen?

But why on earth are cities giving CRA money for schools? Why the hell did we vote for the GIANT SCHOOL GOB BOND if they needed CRA money as well?


Anonymous said...

Joe Centorino and the Ethics Commission is one big failure. Shut it down.

This is a if the County has two school boards appropriating tax dollars if the Homestead officials are going to give away more than three quarters of a million to the School Board.

Anonymous said...

The HUDstead way, give to get. The only surprise in this story is there is no connection to Wayne Rosen, yet.

Anonymous said...


Who would make such a request?

Had to be someone in a high position.

Miami Herald, care to take a look?

Was it Alberto Carvalho, Lawrence Feldman or someone else?

Anonymous said...

If I'm understanding this correctly, she voted to give $775,000.00 of CRA money to the school board. Monies which are designated to enhance the blighted area and create opportunity, for the poor.

The same MCM that built the new Taj Mahal (City Hall) which she also voted for; somehow received the contract to design and construct the school that she has now been recruited to be the principal.

The law firm which bills more than 1.5 million dollars per year to the city; (which she also votes for) gets the "no conflict" go-ahead from Centorino.

Dear god, it never stops!!

Anonymous said...

Just failure at every level and across multiple separate agencies of government.

So according to Let 'em Go Joe:

You can vote for your employer to cash in on money for the poor.
You can have the Municipal Attorney endorse the transfer of funds.
You can have a Municipal Administration release the funds.
You can seek an opinion while twisting the truth after the fact.
You can give money from one taxing entity to another.
You can receive a promotion from your employer.
You can have it all codified by the Ethics Commission.
You can all agree it was unrelated.
You can fear no oversight authority because you sought an opinion.
You can then justify doing it again and again due to precedent.

Why do we have a Commission on Ethics?

Anonymous said...

Looks like this ethics opinion was based upon a phone call allowing the caller deniability based upon mishearing. Phone calls should not be part of the ethics record. Written inquiry and written opinions. No wiggle room.

Anonymous said...

Wiggle room is the name of the political game.

Unknown said...

My love, when will we start holding Joe Centorino accountable? He isn't able to do research on his to look adequately into ethical considerations? We need to privatize the COE... This gets old...

When will we start expecting our elected officials to abstain from votes? EyeOnMiami, you should do research into which elected leaders are the most likely to abstain from a vote... then we should reward those elected officials...

Maybe we need to start teaching ethics in preschool and every year from there on out....

Anonymous said...

Cutler Bay has seen tremendous returns on town money invested in their schools... Schools are economic infrastructures and affect our property values and quality of life... the better the school, the better ROI for me... Miami-Dade County public schools are too big for proper needs to be satisfied. It seems like a good decision for local governments to get involved...

I am not sure why she hired counsel when she could have reached out to Joe herself?
I doubt she was trying to be dubious.

She is an interesting character though...

I heard she was close with Lynda Bell....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Cutler Bay has seen tremendous returns on town money invested in their schools... Schools are economic infrastructures and affect our property values and quality of life... the better the school, the better ROI for me... Miami-Dade County public schools are too big for proper needs to be satisfied. It seems like a good decision for local governments to get involved...

I am not sure why she hired counsel when she could have reached out to Joe herself?
I doubt she was trying to be dubious.

She is an interesting character though...

I heard she was close with Lynda Bell....

1. Had the money been properly budgeted from somewhere other than Community Redevelopment, maybe so... CRA are heavily restricted and Homestead has already been in trouble for mis-use of those moneys.

2. She didn't hire counsel, the taxpayers paid the bill. The taxpayers attorney may have forgotten to include some of the needed information to reach the proper conclusion.

3. Odd coincidence that the very person who can vote to re-allocate $775,000.00 in public money to the project, can be selected ahead of every qualified candidate in Miami Dade County, for the promotion.

4. I've never voted for Lynda but she might be shining star next to this bunch!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's go right to the center of this multi-layered and very pungent political onion. This is nothing more than pure racial politics at play. In Homestead, the black vote is crucial to winning an election, particularly the Mayors race and any tight Council race. Elections are, in may instances, won and lost by razor thin margins and the bottom line is that once in office, politicians will do anything to keep that position. The race card is always held at the ready and anyone painted as voting against helping out a school in the poor, predominately black neighborhood could be in for a tough race. The issue of whether the payment is appropriate gets lost in the racial mix. However, it is much deeper than just pleasing a couple of hundred folks who only get involved at campaign time. This was about not alienating Ms Fairclough who is now the Queen of the Council by virtue of her ability to influence the vote in southwest Homestead. Her Council colleagues will do whatever it takes to garner her support in the all important black precincts. This is further evidenced by the fact that in the last election, neither Larry Roth nor Jon Burgess had their name put on the Vice Mayor ballot, leaving her to win that coveted title by default.It is no secret that she helped both of them in that area.
Having set the stage, I would be very interested to know who hatched the idea to give a public school over three quarters of a million dollars in city money. Was it Fairclough ? I'm confident that somewhere there is a sanitized memo making all look very innocent and above board.
As for the Ethics question, wouldn't it have been easier for Ms Fairclough to recuse herself ? Was there a fear that it would not pass without her vote or was this a case of her wanting to be able to crow about helping the kids by voting to transfer this money from one agency to another ?
Finally, the lack of a paper trail between the City Attorney and the Commission on Ethics demonstrates the lack of Ethics at the COE. Why would the agency issue an opinion without a written request ? The city attorney should be taken to task for not doing so. After all, its about how you ask the question and by virtue of a lack of paper trail, we will never know exactly what was presented to Centorino. Bottom line is that there is no accountability at the COE and this is yet another example of why this agency should be dissolved and the actions of Centorino investigated.

Anonymous said...

1) The letter was wrong. The money was to support the expansion of the school converting to a K-8. And since that part of the letter was wrong, perhaps the city attorney misspoke when he said was requested to apply. Maybe someone mentioned an opening and suggested she apply. What is wrong with that?

2) This use of money is NOT unusual. Cutler Bay K-8, Key Biscayne K-8, to name a few. Many municipalities enter into inter-local agreements to support schools. Pinecrest has a line item for their schools.

3) Patricia IS NOT a principal. So that is another piece of false information. She is an Assistant Principal. Whether or not she applied for the principal position, she didn't get the job; she remains at the same school serving as an AP.

4) Patricia is not hostile toward charter schools, in fact, there are charter school representatives who are members of the City of Homestead Education Committee for which she is the liaison.

I hope you clear up the misinformation. Perhaps put the city attorney's feet to the fire. We should definitely take a better look at him and his firm...

Anonymous said...

FYI, Patricia was M-DCPS Teacher of the Year in 2010 - for the ENTIRE district and went on to become a state finalist for Florida teacher of the year. She is more than qualified to be a principal. She outshines many principals that I know and have known for close to 20 years. In fact, she is being discriminated against because she is an elected official. She should have been a principal a long time ago.

Remember, even though we voted for the GOB money, that money is not allocated fairly. Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest is set to receive close to $45 million from the GOB funds. Why in the hell is that? Because it sits in Pinecrest?? That school is drug-ridden, has been plagued by scandals of teachers sleeping with students (4 teachers in the past 5 years), has a crappy principal who is not very well liked by many people (and, in fact, since 2012 there have been 3 principals), almost daily fights, students hitting teachers, filthy bathrooms, etc, etc. Do you ever really hear about these things?

West Homestead K-8, like so many other schools in low-income areas, are receiving the bare minimum of the GOB funds because schools in the well-to-do areas with communities that have big influence and schools in predominantly African American neighborhoods in the North where alumni speak up and demand their fair share (and who were promised major renovations and schools by Alberto Carvalho in exchange for their support of the bond) are getting the big bucks. So bravo to Patricia and the council for doing the right thing for their community in the South that has always been overlooked by the school system.

Anonymous said...

HUDstead has zero integrity. It's the same old story. Scandal after scandal. CRA funds going all over the place but where they are intended. More than two million dollars went to a roller coaster in North Carolina about a decade ago.

Now the police are embroiled in a scandal of immeasurable proportions regarding a vendetta against private citizens, which was apparently ordered by the mayor and police chief with the City Attorney's blessing.

City Attorney needs to go.

How can Homestead residents essentially pay two school board taxing agencies, who is looking out for them?
The writer who pointed out this is all about elections is correct. Fairclough ran unopposed yet had a war chest and everyone supported her, there was an effort to provide cash to a school board that had been given a $1.2 billion bond in addition to budgeted funds. The HUDstead CRA should never have been raided.

Commissioner Levine Cava you need to get this City accountable for it's actions. Order the OIG to investigate this Homestead CRA, the weasel wordsmith City Attorney, the agreement with the school board, the arranged promotion and finally the ethics commission. Several people have failed the taxpayers and this quid pro quo is prime evidence. Let Mary Cagle and Cathy Jackson loose on the City of Homestead. The cycle of corruption continues in Homestead.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous above ^^^^ What promotion?!?!?!?!?! Do some fact checking before you comment. Patricia DID NOT RECEIVE A PROMOTION. She is NOT A PRINCIPAL. She is an assistant principal.

Make sure you look into Key Biscayne, Pinecrest, Cutler Bay if you think Homestead did something unethical with the CRA money.

Also, Fairclough did have an opponent in the primary. Fact check....

Anonymous said...

To those of us who are on the ground in Homestead, it is clear that Patricia is not the same person who won the teacher of the year 7 years ago. Since transitioning from the classroom to administration and becoming an elected, she has quickly developed the entitlement mentality so common among those who came from nothing a'la Corinne Brown) and achieved success in politics and school board administration. She makes no secret of her extreme far left political leanings and never hesitates to use city money to promote herself. BTW, where is she on the police issues? She could take the lead but is nowhere to be found. Can't have it both ways, Ms. Fairclough.
The point of the story is this: you get the answer to the question that is asked which was not the question that should have been asked. Again, unless the vote was perceived to be close, she has the good sense to recuse herself but then could not have crowed about what she did for the school. Cities should not be subsidizing the school system. Period,end of story. The city attorney is a master illusionist. The rest of the Hudstead Council needs to begin to question his continued relationship with the city pocketbook.
Finally, this is important stuff, folks. Let's not spread falsehoods to obscure the issue. A comment above says that city money went to a roller coaster in North Carolina. Not exactly and this is misleading. It would be true to say that a couple of million bucks from an insider (and I believe corrupt ) deal went to one of the owners of a failed amusement park in North Carolina but that is entirely different from saying it ( city money) went to the roller coaster.

Anonymous said...

Somebody should file an Ethics complaint.rotflmao
To the anon above anyone backed by Wayne Rosen has no opponent. They have to depend on real people who give five and ten dollars based upon the hope that their choice can change the system. Wayne drops a $100,000 on three or four candidates that always vote for his applications.
Remember the $3 million HUD money for a golf course project? Then it was dropped after exposure brought negative reviews. The golf course was then magically reincarnated with one caveat, in order to repair the golf course Wayne should be allowed to build in Homesteads free trade zone area.
All of the Homestead corruption is about power. You can be sure this story is not the last.
The most hilarious aspect of the response to Richard Weiss from ethics was the former Ethics Commission Director, Bob Meyers, works for Richard Weiss. So the inquiry was clearly for show, which is all part of protecting each other from scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

The Homestead City Attorney obviously stated to the Ethics Commission that the vote was several years ago, it was for computers and it was $175,000.

This high priced counselor was incorrect on those three key points.

In October of 2013 the interlocal agreement was voted on by the City of Homestead elected officials. The request for an ethics opinion was made in July of 2016, that is two years and a few months.

The School Board was explicit in the ILA by earmarking 50% of the $775,000 for design and 50% for construction. Computers were clearly not the intent.

$175,000 is fiction. Since there is no written ethics request, it remains to be seen as to where the number originated, either the City Attorney or the Ethics Commission Executive Director are responsible.

Anonymous said...

Now it's the personal use of a city vehicle being investigated by COE. Of,course, I use the term "investigated" very loosely. Is it just me, or did Porter seem a little arrogant in his quote to the rag formerly known as the Miami Herald ? Wonder how much the city attorney billed for dealing with this little fiasco ?

Anonymous said...

How does Councilman Elvis afford to have representation like J C Planas ? Other than his city pay, Maldonado does not seem to have an identifiable job or source of income. Was it free ? If so, why ? Did someone else such as Rosen foot the bill ? My inquiring mind would love to know.