Just in case you think the North Miami Police Department is the only local government agency rife with corruption, you can rest assured that the City of North Miami Beach also has its fair share.
As we reported last month, North Miami Beach Faux Commissioner Phyllis Smith “stipulated to” election fraud charges stemming from her 2015 run for re-election. Had Phyllis not opted to simply pay a fine to negotiate a settlement to make the charges go away, the Florida Elections Commission would have had the power to review all the campaign records she’s been desperately trying to hide.
You will recall that her opponent, Michael Joseph, filed a lawsuit on June 2, 2015 contesting the election based on evidence collected that Phyllis committed absentee ballot voter fraud. Since then, she and her shady lawyer, Joe Geller, have been successful in stalling the proceedings indefinitely.
What Phyllis is trying desperately to hide are her campaign bank account records, which we suspect will prove that she made illicit payments to absentee ballot brokers. If those allegations are proven, she will then be implicated in absentee ballot fraud, as well as campaign finance fraud. As long as she can keep those records hidden from the public, Phyllis Smith can continue pretending that she’s a “Commissioner,” and that she was duly elected.
Unfortunately for her, additional complaints have now been filed with the state and local ethics commissions. Copies have also been provided to the State Attorneys’ Office, which does have the power to subpoena her records, if necessary.
And, yes. We are working on making sure that happens.
In the meantime, new evidence has surfaced that points to a cover up at City Hall. Let me explain.
When Phyllis filed her amended Campaign Treasurer’s Report for the period April 18, 2015 to April 30, 2015, she reported a “TOTAL Monetary Contributions To Date” of $41,257.18, and a “TOTAL Monetary Expenditures To Date” of $23,357.78.
She then filed an amended Campaign Treasurer’s Report for the period May 1, 2015 to May 15, 2015. On this report, Phyllis claimed contributions of $10,125.00, bringing the “TOTAL Monetary Contributions To Date” to $51,382.18. She also reported expenditures of $13,693.13, bringing the “TOTAL Monetary Expenditures To Date” to $37,050.91.
Based on these two reports, Phyllis Smith’s math adds up perfectly…
Unless you realize that Phyllis did not file a critical report that was due for the period May 6, 2015 through May 14, 2015, which is mysteriously missing from the city’s website.
But, even more importantly, someone at North Miami Beach City Hall doesn’t want you to know that this particular report was due on May 15, 2015.
Let me explain.
I was recently advised that because there was a runoff election between Phyllis Smith and Michael Joseph, the City Clerk notified the candidates of this additional reporting date in an email dated May 7, 2015.
The mystery deepened even further when I made a public records request on May 30, 2017, as follows:
The city’s website posted a list of reporting periods for the candidates’ campaign treasurer’s reports, per the attached downloaded copy.
It has come to my attention that because there was a runoff election that year, there were additional reporting date(s) that are not included on this document.
Please provide me with that list as soon as possible.
Thanks for your assistance in this matter.”
Simple enough request, right? Hardly.
Ms. Latimore emailed me the next day acknowledging my request and advising me that the documents would be sent to me as soon as possible.
On June 13, 2017, I followed up my request with an email asking, “Did you ever find the document I requested?”
The Clerk responded with, “I have reviewed the 2015 packet and there is not a document referencing the reporting dates for the run-off. The candidates may have been advised via the state election website, telephone, or face to face verbal communication.”
Since I already had the information I was looking for, I immediately shot back an email to the Clerk asking her…
Still waiting for a response.
But, wait! THERE’S MORE!
In a separate email to the North Miami Beach City Clerk, I advised her that because Phyllis Smith was late in filing several of her Campaign Treasurer’s Reports, according to Florida law and the city’s own 2015 Candidate Handbook, she is “subject to a fine of $50 per day for the first three (3) days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report.”
On June 9, 2017, the Clerk wrote back:
“Hi Stephanie, Commissioner Smith was in a Run-off for the 2015 Election Cycle which made her TR report due August 19, 2015, The August 5, 2015 date only applied to candidates who ended their campaigns on or before the May 5th Election date. (TR report due 90 days after the election date.) The report that was due on May 15, 2015 (R1) was originally turned in by Commissioner Smith on May 14, 2015 and amended in August.
I will make the documents available as soon as I gain access to them. ( They are being scanned and indexed). Thank you.”
Well, that’s certainly interesting. Phyllis allegedly turned in the report on May 14, 2015, yet it was never posted on the City’s website. Hmmmm.
On June 10, 2017, I wrote back:
“Pamela, thank you for your response.
However, your statement that her “May 15, 2015 (R1) was originally turned in by Commissioner Smith on May 14, 2015” makes no sense. Why would you not have time stamped that report and included it with the rest of her reports? What do you mean that you have to “gain access to them?” Don’t you have all the reports in your office?
I certainly hope that Phyllis Smith’s R1, if she did indeed file one in a timely manner, has already been date stamped by your office on the date and time she turned it in.
Also, please confirm that it is impossible for the clerk’s time stamp cannot be altered in order to back date any documents by providing some type of proof, i.e., a calibration report, or some other means.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.”
She finally wrote back on June 14, 2017, stating “My response(s) to your request are in red. Thank you.” This is what she replied:
However, your statement that her “May 15, 2015 (R1) was originally turned in by Commissioner Smith on May 14, 2015” makes no sense. I am not sure as to how I may clarify my statement so that it will make sense; “The report was due on May 15th, 2017 the candidate turned in on May 14th, 2017.” Why would you not have time stamped that report and included it with the rest of her reports? The report was time stamped on May 14, 2017(see attached) What do you mean that you have to “gain access to them?” Don’t you have all the reports in your office? Yes I have the documents but since this was the 2015 Election and I was making preparation for the possibility of a 2017 Election, the documents were being prepared for storage.
I certainly hope that Phyllis Smith’s R1, if she did indeed file one in a timely manner, has already been date stamped by your office on the date and time she turned it in. The document is attached for your review.
Also, please confirm that it is impossible for the clerk’s time stamp cannot be altered in order to back date any documents by providing some type of proof, i.e., a calibration report, or some other means. I am not aware of any means as to how to alter the time stamp located in the Clerk’s office.“
Attached to that email was a Campaign Treasurer’s Report prepared by Phyllis Smith for the period May 6, 2015 through May 15, 2015 and allegedly delivered to the City Clerk on May 14, 2015, according to the time stamp.
Except there are two problems with this report:
- Phyllis reported receiving $3,225.00 in contributions and spending $470.00 in expenditures, yet she did not complete box (9) “TOTAL Monetary Contributions To Date” or box (10) “TOTAL Monetary Expenditures To Date,” nor were these amounts included in the balances carried forward on her final report filed August 19, 2015.
- The report in question was allegedly stamped by the Clerk on May 14, 2015, however Phyllis listed two contributions as being received on May 15, 2015 – A DAY AFTER SHE ALLEGEDLY TURNED IN THE REPORT! How in the hell did Phyllis report two contributions the day before she actually received them?
Although the Clerk stated that she is “not aware of any means as to how to alter the time stamp located in the Clerk’s office,” sources advise me that there are ways to manually adjust those machines.
I could be wrong (although it’s highly doubtful), but there is something very, very fishy going on in North Miami Beach.
It certainly appears that documents are being hidden, fraud is being covered up, corruption is rampant, and Sunshine Laws are only being given lip service.
Whether it’s the “Hallowed (City) Halls” of North Miami or North Miami Beach, residents are being force fed a steady diet of nothing but lies, lies and more lies.
This blogger is fighting for the people and will not take “no” for an answer.