It is no secret that over the past year Miami Beach has been plagued with corruption at the city level. It has touched all departments including fire, police and code enforcement. Then-City Manager Jorge Gonzalez and Miami Beach Matti Bower got together and came up with a plan to contain the damage. Once facet of the plan was to involve the Miami-Dade office of the Inspector General. They were depending on the Inspector General Chris Mazzella to help investigate some of the more nefarious deals that were going on within the city government.
Fastforward nine months. Gonzalez has stepped down, Mazzella is retiring and the corruption is still raging on Miami Beach. And, the Inspector General’s office has finally replied to the request from Miami Beach with a resounding no.
The reason? Mazzella told the New Times that his office did not have the manpower to handle the ongoing corruption that is plaguing Miami Beach.
“I didn’t believe that we could divert any more resources to Miami Beach to take care of their problems,” said Mazzella.
That leaves Mayor Bower and the city commission back at square one and very disappointed.
“Hopefully at some point they will be able to come in,” Bower said of the IG’s office. “I will keep pursuing it as long as I am here.”
Mazella did have a suggestion on how the city could handle things from this point on – create its own inspector general’s office, to handle its own corruption problems internally. Other US corruption-plagued cities have done this with success.
But Mayor Bower was having none of it, concerned that any new agency would just get wrapped up in politics.
Mazella made a point to say that he believed that Miami Beach needed outside help and added “Given the revelations that have emerged from just criminal cases, it certainly reveals a concern about anomalies and weaknesses that would allow this [corruption] to happen,” he said.