North Miami is in the news. Again. Good thing, too, ‘cuz things have been a little too quiet around here since North Miami Beach EX-mayor Myron Rosner got his ass arrested a couple weeks ago. Boy, that was fun, eh?
Luckily, our Sister City to the South has picked up the slack. The first item, which was reported by the Miami New Times, is about a complaint filed with the Florida Elections Commission about North Miami’s mayor Andre Pierre’s “allegedly accepting thousands in free campaign ads on bus benches from a company whose owner told prosecutors he had pressured them with promises to renew their contract.” Gee, that sure sounds familiar. Why am I having a deja vu? Oh, yeah! That’s EXACTLY what Myron did! Same bus bench vendor, too! Okay, so original he’s not. In fact, the title of the article says it all – Andre Pierre Took The Same Free Ads That Got Myron Rosner Arrested, Complaint Alleges. One can only hope that Andre suffers the same fate.
Moving right along.
A Miami Herald article that was published on Saturday (which I somehow missed) and also online today, CRA employee Lesly Prudent’s show creates interest, questions, spotlights just how lawless the City of North Miami really is. The new Wild, Wild…um…Northeast?
As I reported to y’all in December of last year in North Miami: Sunshine? What sunshine? We don’t need no stinkin’ sunshine!, mayor Andre Pierre stooge, former Police Chief/current City Manager Stephen Johnson created a job called “CRA Coordinator,” which was “specifically for one person, and one person only – a former temporary Principal of the North Miami Senior High School Adult program. This would be the same Lesly Prudent who has a radio program and who is one of North Miami Beach councilman Frantz Pierre’s close friends. (Yeah, you just knew good ol’ Frantzie just had to be involved somehow, didn’t you?) As I’ve previously reported, Frantz had tried unsuccessfully to get Lesly Prudent a job with the City of North Miami Beach as an assistant city manager, for which Mr. Prudent was not qualified.”
According to the requirements listed on the job announcement issued by the City of North Miami, turns out Prudent wasn’t qualified to be a “CRA Coordinator,” either. Unsurprisingly, he got the job anyway. No one knows how since the “hiring” process was behind closed doors. Like everything else in North Miami!
The salary for this position was “advertised” as “between $50,960.00 and $75,587.00.” According to the Herald article he receives $77,900.00 a year. Somehow, Mr. Prudent managed to scam taxpayers for an additional $2,313.00 over the maximum amount the city was offering. What’s up with that?
On top of that, the taxpayers have the privilege of being raped for even more money as North Miami also buys advertising on Prudent’s radio show. You know, the gig he performs when he sneaks away from his “job” at the city to “enthusiastically stump for Democrat candidates during his daily half hour show.” Talk about double dipping!
Of course, Lesly “I Own North Miami” Prudent got permission to moonlight from none other than City Manager Stephen Johnson, who gets his marching orders from his boss, Andre Pierre.
As a public employee, I’m pretty sure that Lesly Prudent is prohibited from pitching for any political party while on the city’s dime. Florida Statute 104.31(1)(a), relating to “Political activities of state, county and municipal officers and employees,” states:
No officer or employee of the state, or of (1) any county or municipality thereof, except as hereinafter exempted from provisions hereof, shall:
Use his or her official authority (a) or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result thereof.”
Paragraph (4) of this Statute states:
“(4) Nothing contained in this section or in any county or municipal charter shall be deemed to prohibit any public employee from expressing his or her opinions on any candidate or issue or from participating in any political campaign during the employee’s off-duty hours, so long as such activities are not in conflict with the provisions of subsection (1) or s. 110.233.”
Accordingly, Florida Statute 110.233(4)(a) and (b) states that no state employee may “take any active part in a political campaign while on duty or within any period of time during which the employee is expected to perform services for which he or she receives compensation from the state,” and “[u]se the authority of his or her position to secure support for, or oppose, any candidate, party, or issue in a partisan election or affect the results thereof,” respectively.
Considering that Lesly Prudent is a salaried employee, according to Stephen Johnson, and “does not draw overtime pay,” it’s implied that he’s on the clock during regular business hours. He doesn’t get to take off his “public employee” hat at lunch time to shill for votes “for Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates” while being paid a non-partisan tax dollar salary.
I also find it hard to believe that Stephen Johnson “was not aware of the partisan nature” of Lesly Prudent’s obviously partisan radio show. Then again, we are talking about someone who, when he was the Chief of Police, wasn’t aware that it was illegal to install hidden cameras in Andre Pierre’s office or to make 43 fake police badges for his boss, either.
However, this IS North Miami. If the Chief of Police isn’t required to know the law, why should a public employees be required to obey it?
Just business as usual in the New Wild, Wild West. Or, I should say, The Chicago of the South.
“Spreading the Wealth”