The Buffoon of North Miami Beach, a/k/a Councilcritter Frantz Pierre, has been busy spending our money. Just recently he took off for a vacation to his home country of Haiti and conned our City’s Finance Department into reimbursing him a “per diem meals allowance” totaling $777.00, under the guise of “Leadership & Management Seminar in Port-au-Prince.”
I googled the crap out of this so-called seminar and came up empty handed. Our City Clerk also could not find a link or even a description of such a seminar, and advised me she’d have to ask Frantzie for information. I can’t wait to see what BS he comes up with!
A North Miami Beach resident made a public records request asking for “itemized list of any city funds utilized by Councilman Franz Pierre for travel expenses, including, but not limited to, food, transportation, hotel, or any other city funds expended by him for the period October 1, 2012 to July 1, 2014, including his recent trip out of the country. If there are any reimbursements that have been submitted, but not yet reimbursed, please include them on the itemized list, identified as not yet disbursed to him.”
He received a response in an email which you can read by clicking RIGHT HERE.
During the previous fiscal year, L’il Frantzie P asked for and received expense reimbursements in the amount of $7,104.04. In the first eight months and two days of the current fiscal year, The P Man has gouged our city’s coffers for a whopping $4,450.33.
Let’s take a look at how our hard earned tax dollars are being spent so generously by the zoot suited buffoon of NMB. Aside from the $40.00 price of a ticket to attend the Miami-Dade County League of Cities Board of Directors meetings, which are considered to be legitimate expenses, some of the items for which we were charged are eyebrow raising at the very least. Check these out:
1. $500.00 sponsorship to “Celebrating the 45 years of Tabou Combo & the 50 years of Tropicana,” more accurately described as “Orchestre Tropicana d’Haiti and Tabou Combo.” Please tell me what this has to do with North Miami Beach.
2. $1,000.00 sponsorship to Haitian Senior Stars Solidarity Group, Inc. This is a “non-profit” that does … what? I have no idea since it doesn’t have a website. I also couldn’t find any advertising or articles about this organization, nor could I find a mission statement. I did, however, discover that your Miami-Dade County Commissioners courtesy of Jean Monestime, doled out $4,000.00 to this “non-profit” on October 22, 2013 for a “Music Festival for community.” According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Gift Giver’s Guide, Haitian Senior Stars Solidarity Group, Inc. has not reported any financial information. I’d love to know how its donations are being spent. Wouldn’t you?
3. $1,000.00 donation to “Empowerment Church for toys and toiletries for needy families.” According to Sunbiz.org, Empowerment Church, Inc. is located at 791 NE 167 Street, Miami Gardens, Florida 33169. Except for the fact that that address is actually located in North Miami Beach and not Miami Gardens, why is Frantzie donating OUR money instead of his own? (FYI, the pastor just happens to be Haitian.)
4. $1,000.00 donation to a “Grant to provide snacks & refreshments to 92 at risk students.” Wait, WHAT? A Grant to whom or to what? There’s not even an organization listed for me to research! Could this be any more vague? Did anyone in the NMB Finance Department check up on this request before handing The P Man a check for a thousand bucks? Jeez, I hope so! (Yes, I will be asking questions.)
5. North Miami Beach taxpayers shelled out $2,609.87 so that Frantzie could attend the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC. Isn’t that special? Will someone please tell me how that vacation benefited our city in any way whatsoever? Why do we have to pay for him to attend a function that the most of the rest of us who live and pay taxes in North Miami Beach couldn’t afford? WTF is going on here anyway?
6. $1,000.00 donation to the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, which is sponsored by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. In case anyone isn’t aware, L’il Frantzie P is actually a teacher who works for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Why are we funding a project for his employer? Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Paging Joe Centorino!
7. $1,000.00 donation to Shalom Development Center, Inc., yet another “non-profit” in North Miami. As with the Haitian Senior Stars Solidarity Group, this organization does not have a website or a published mission statement. But it does have
one thing two things in common with that other “non-profit.” (1) Shalom Development Center managed to grab $500.00 of your Miami-Dade County Tax Dollars from the Commission also on October 22, 2013 for “Community Youth services;” and (2) the principles of the corporation are, you guessed it, Haitian. NMB residents were screwed not once, but twice for another one of Frantzie’s “non-profits.” Did you get kissed? Me neither.
8. $500.00 donation to Roaring Tigers, which is a youth basketball team in North Miami for seventh grade boys. Why are North Miami Beach taxpayers financing this North Miami team?
9. $749.17 sponsorship to United Haitian American Artists, Inc., yet ANOTHER “non-profit” in North Miami. [NOTE: I was just advised that this address, 15002 NE 12 Avenue, is located in Miami-Dade County and not in the City of North Miami.] Again, no website, no mission statement. Interestingly, my “research assistant” had previously done some digging about this organization and came up with this information:
Farah Desgranges is also the namesake of Farah’s Angels Daycare, which is owned by the Registered Agent and President of United Haitian American Artists, Inc., Yanick A. Desgranges. Both corporations have the same address of 15002 NE 12 Avenue.
The Secretary of United Haitian American Artists, Inc., Larry Lattimore, who is also Farah Juste’s son, is a convicted felon, who was sentenced to two years probation for “Fraud Use of Personal ID” on February 9, 2012. His address as listed on his arrest record is the same as both corporations.
Here’s the thing. If you google “United Haitian American Artists, Inc.,” you’ll be directed a single photo on the Facebook page of Farah Juste Soleil, which was posted well over a year ago, with the description:
United Haitian American ArtistUpdated over a year agoUnited Haitian American Artist (UHAA) is a cultural arts and entertainment organization that works in unison with the Haitian Diaspora. UHAA is a 501(c)(3) organization whose goal is to highlight the works of Haitian Artist locally and aboard, while creating opportunities and an arena for new talent in all aspects of the Haitian culture. UHAA is continually searching for the best and the brightest artist in every age group.The organization was created by well know Haitian Activist Farah Juste in 2002 to celebrate Haitian Independence Day. For the past 21 years she has sponsored an event that not only celebrated the independence of Haiti, but it gives Haiti as a country a voice that has long been ignored. This event also provides Haitian Artist with the opportunity to showcase their talents. Farah Juste and UHAA are working to generate interest for humanitarian efforts locally and in Haiti to create a better life in the impoverished nation.UHAA is involved in every aspect of entertainment as it will be promoting its first film “Love, Hatred and Life”. UHAA is also promoting the Jazz Festival that is held annually in April at the newly constructed Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, (formally the Carnival Center for Performing Arts) which will also feature local artist.
The organization plans to expand its operations from its headquarters in South Florida by creating a satellite office in Port-O-Prince, Haiti. UHAA promises to become vital part of South Florida’s economy and a positive vehicle the people of Haiti.
Try googling the film “Love, Hatred and Life.” ZIP, ZILCH, NADA!
My researcher came up with the conclusion that “it looks like United Haitian American Artists is a family affair that promotes Farah Juste,” and is posing as a “non-profit.”
Think about this: YOUR TAX DOLLARS WERE DONATED TO THIS ORGANIZATION! Courtesy of L’il Frantzie P.
10. $400.00 sponsorship for IHCD, Inc. According to sunbiz.org, there is NO SUCH CORPORATION IN FLORIDA! According to MerchantCircle.com, a company called “Ihcd, Inc.” is located at 1871 NE 167 Street, North Miami Beach, Florida 33162. According to the Miami Dade County Property Appraiser’s Office and BeenVerified.com, THERE IS NO SUCH ADDRESS!
11. $500.00 donation to Actions for Better Future, Inc., which is located at Frantzie’s Infamous House of Non-Profits in North Miami Beach, and run by Karyne S. Pompilus, who attempted to grab money from the City Council a couple years ago for her to-this-day still do-nothing organization. Her corporation is so pathetic, she couldn’t even scam the Miami-Dade County Commissioners out of a single dime. Yeah, that is seriously pathetic!
Not surprisingly, Actions for Better Future, Inc. does not appear on the Department of Agriculture’s Gift Giver’s Guide.
12. $150.00 registration fee to the Broward Black Elected Officials. This a group that likes to party. A quick google search yields the fact that they give galas. It created a Facebook page for its 2010 gala. Interestingly, according to faqs.org, this is a Tax Exempt Organization, BUT, according to sunbiz.org – the OFFICIAL corporate website for the Florida Department of State, Broward County Black Elected Officials, Inc. was administratively dissolved in 2009 for the non-filing of its Annual Report. Somehow, they still manage to conduct business, giving galas, COLLECTING NORTH MIAMI BEACH TAX DOLLARS. SWEET!
13. $75.00 for a ticket to the North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Vegas Night. I’m thinking this is probably the only legitimate expense on the list. This event actually benefited the City of North Miami Beach. Well, HALLELUJAH!
Here’s the thing. According to the Minutes of a Council meeting held June 1, 2010, Resolution R2010-41 was passed, which gave Council members a salary of $3,000.00 plus an Expense Account of $23,999.00, for a Total Compensation package of $26,999.00. (The Mayor’s package is $31,799.00). As such, L’il Frantzie P gets play money (a/k/a OUR TAX DOLLARS) of nearly $24,000.00 to do pretty much whatever he wants with.
The additional funds he asked for and received is OVER AND ABOVE the money he gets for his “Expense Account.”
I spoke with three different sources, who all seem to think the Council granted itself an additional $3,000.00 per fiscal year for additional expenses. I am hard-pressed to find this policy in writing on the City’s website. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, only that I can’t find it.
But even if that is the official policy, Frantzie has already spent over and above that alleged $3,000.00 amount by $4,104.04 last fiscal year and $1,450.33 so far this year.
On top of that, as you can see, most of these expenses are questionable at best.
North Miami Beach Councilcritter Frantz Pierre has no problem spending our money. The vast majority of our tax dollars that he is reimbursed for is for the benefit of Haitian individuals and organizations (legitimate and otherwise), or as in the case of his recent “seminar,” Haiti itself.
The bigger problem, however, is that Frantzie is only getting away with what the City of North Miami Beach is allowing him to do. The questions we should be asking our city officials are:
- Why is he getting reimbursed for any of the above?
- Is anyone at all checking out that these reimbursements are going to legitimate causes that benefit our city?
- WHO IS MINDING THE STORE?
If it weren’t for the watchful eyes of the citizen activists of North Miami Beach, we’d never know that this crap has been going on.
So, the answer to Question #3 is: “It takes a village.”
And a blogger, of course. 🙂
“Spreading the Wealth”