North Miami City Manager: The Search, Part I

There were sixty two applications submitted for the position of City Manager for North Miami.  Nineteen of the applicants submitted letters and resumes, which you can view by clicking here and here.  Thirty seven of the candidates submitted their applications online, which you can view by clicking here.  I was advised that several individuals who applied after the December 31, 2015 deadline have been disqualified, which could be the reason the list has now been whittled down to 56 applicants.

At the last council meeting, the Mayor and Council decided that each of them will choose four names from the list and submit their choices at the January 26, 2015 council meeting.  What they do from there is anyone’s guess.  We’ll have to wait and see. Continue reading

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North Miami Mixed Bag Sunday

Taco CatIt might have been a slow news week, but in North Miami there’s always something to dish about.

Here are some of my random thoughts.  Yes, it’s long.  But it’s Sunday.  And it’s raining.

So sit back, relax, and let me entertain you.

And the winner is …  Oh, never mind.

After an embarrassing moment at the December 16, 2015 council meeting when the decision to un-hire the previously hired Valria Screen prompted Mayor Smith Joseph to announce that “North Miami is the laughing stock of the county,” the council wasn’t taking any chances this time around.

Or so they thought. Continue reading

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Chief Lenny Sets a Decoy

WTF is a decoyYesterday morning, two men robbed a cell phone store in a strip mall in North Miami located at NW 119th Street and 7th Avenue.

As NBC6 (and a gazillion other news outlets) reported, the store clerk was pistol-whipped.  The robbers got away.

In a sad twist of irony, at the exact moment this robbery was going down, two doors away from the cell phone store – in the very same strip mall – the North Miami Police Department decoy truck was parked.

In plain view. Continue reading

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Who wants to be a m̶i̶l̶l̶i̶o̶n̶a̶i̶r̶e̶ redneck?

Redneck holsterIn case you’re wondering about the true cost of the EEOC Mediated Settlement Agreement between the City of North Miami and Assistant Police Chief Laurence Juriga, wonder no more!

In addition to a lump sum payment of $24,990.00 in the form of “Retro” pay, Mr. Juriga’s lawyer also received $7,500.00 for all his hard work.  Together they made an instant $32,490.00.

Courtesy of North Miami taxpayers.

But, wait!  There’s MORE! Continue reading

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Joe Geller: Lawyer, Politician, Corruptocrat Extraordinaire

Political PromisesWhen is a law firm not a law firm?

Apparently, it all depends on Joseph S. Geller’s definition of the word “is.”

Joe’s been scurrying around North Miami City Hall like a rat, trying to snag the position of City Attorney for his firm, Greenspoon Marder.  He’s made it perfectly clear that despite his continuous duties in Tallahassee as a Florida State Representative, his firm is chock full of lawyers who would be at the disposal of the Mayor and Council around the clock.

And yet, when it comes to defending North Miami Beach “Councilwoman” Phyllis Smith against an absentee ballot fraud lawsuit, Joe claims to be a lone wolf. Continue reading

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Chief Lenny’s Self-Inflicted Media Crisis (Updated)

everybody calm downAt his very first roll call after he was hired on December 4, 2014, former North Miami Beach Police Chief J. Scott Dennis told his troops, “No one talks to the blogger.”

How do I know this?

Because as soon as roll call was over, my phone started ringing off the hook.

Chief Dennis soon learned that it’s better to make nice with the media than to try to stop the flow of information by sources who trust the media more than they trust the leadership of an organization. Continue reading

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You might be a redneck if… (Updated)

Redneck copNorth Miami Police Department Assistant Chief Larry Juriga got his panties twisted because former City Manager Aleem Ghany allegedly  referred to him as a “redneck.”

He was also upset that Aleem allegedly  said that two former mayors “hate him.”

According to a Charge of Discrimination he filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on July 6, 2015, Larry Juriga claimed that while he was on his cell phone with Aleem, he accidentally overheard Aleem tell his wife that Juriga was a “redneck” and that “they hate him.”

When Juriga confronted Aleem, he allegedly  admitted everything.  He also allegedly  revealed that the individuals who “hate him” were Andre Pierre and Joe Celestin, “two politically influential Haitian-American former mayors, whom Mr. Ghany quoted as accusing me (falsely) of  meeting weekly with white officers to plan how to block promotions of black and Hispanic officers.”

But, wait!  There’s more! Continue reading

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Chief Lenny’s Loyalty Rewards Program

More perksWhen it comes to requesting public records from the City of North Miami, I’ve learned that if at first you don’t succeed, bug the crap out of them.  If they don’t want you to find out something, do not be deterred.  Just keep asking.  Be persistent.  Eventually you’ll get what you want.

And sometimes, you might just get lucky.

For instance, several months ago, sources in the North Miami Police Department told me that Assistant Chief Larry Juriga filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after accidentally hearing former City Manager Aleem Ghany call him a “racist.”

Imagine that.

In order to make this complaint go away, I was told that Aleem paid Assistant Chief Juriga an approximate amount of $24,990.00, which is just shy of the $25,000.00 limit the City Manager is authorized to spend without requiring approval from Mayor and Council.

This lead was too good not to follow. Continue reading

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Chief Lenny’s C̶a̶s̶h̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶C̶l̶u̶n̶k̶e̶r̶s̶ Gift Cards for Guns!

Got a gift cardIn anticipation of New Year’s Eve, Police Chiefs all over Miami-Dade County have been on the news warning against “celebratory” gunfire and reminding the public about gun safety.

At the North Miami Police Department, however, when  it comes to gun safety, no one is minding the store.

Literally.

And Chief Lenny’s idea of promoting gun safety?

Gift cards.

Yeah.  I know.  Wait for it. Continue reading

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Porn Ruins. Or Something.

Ruin PornAs if North Miami didn’t have enough scandals to deal with, Babacar M’bow’s career as the director and curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art came to a screeching halt today amid accusations of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching and explicit sexual language.

OUCH!

A Memorandum sent today from North Miami Personnel Administration Director Joseph Roglieri, Jr. to Interim City Manager Arthur Sorey, described the results of an investigation into a complaint filed by MOCA employee Tiffany Madera.  The Memorandum concluded that her allegations were sustained.

The Personnel Director also determined that Mr. M’bow created a hostile work environment, even though that charge was not included in the complaint. Continue reading

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