Former Opa-locka Commissioner John B. Riley Violated Ethics Code – Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida 2021-05-27 14:28:00 –

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When Opalocca police officer Daniel Kelly answered a call to Garden Apartments in January 2017, then-city hall John B. Riley said police had no job. Four years later, Riley was convicted of two ethical violations: he was paid by the apartment owner to deal with a city business while performing his official duties. Turned out.

The Miami-Dade County Ethics and Public Trust Commission (COE) last week A city suffering from corruption The case of Opa-locka, which violated the ethical rules of the two counties after years of investigation and internal COE trials.

According to the court records provided New era According to the COE, on January 12, 2017, Constable Kelly answered a call from a woman named Vivian Smith who was locked out of her unit in the Garden Apartments building at 13436 NW 30th Ave. Riley approached him, he drove into the squad car, opened the window, and told Kelly that what was happening to Smith was a civil dispute, not a detective, and police officers shouldn’t be there. I told you.

Smith, who said he had witnessed the exchange, told COE that Riley had told Kelly “let’s face it” and told him that the situation had nothing to do with him.

After former Opalocka police chief James Dobson Riley complained about interfering with police operationsA COE study found that Riley had been working as a consultant for Garden Apartments real estate manager CT Agency and Garden Apartments owner Gloriette Gardens Apartments LTD since 2013. From 2016 to 2018.

From 2013 to 2016, Riley received a monthly payment of $ 1,500 from a CT agency to act as an “on-call consultant” to address city issues, according to a COE complaint. Riley’s invoice to Garden Apartments states that “Garden Apartments / Creative Homes II’s 24-hour on-call consulting services will solve any or local problems.”

Riley reported to the city financial arrangements with Garden Apartments in 2015 and 2016, but did not disclose the $ 7,500 received from Gloriette Gardens Apartments LTD in 2017, when he was a commissioner. ..

In a complaint against Riley filed in 2019, a COE lawyer accused him of three violations of the county’s Code of Ethics. Elected position to include dealing with the city on behalf of his employer.

under Miami-Dade County Ethical Code, “Number [county employee] Accept other employment that may undermine the independence of judgment in the performance of his or her official duties. “

In a motion to dismiss the proceedings, Riley’s lawyer claimed that he did not violate the rules because he did not order Kelly to do anything. Riley’s lawyer claimed that his client was the caller. Smith said the subleasing was illegal because the apartment was subleased and the Garden Apartments consisted of Section 8 homes, claiming that his client merely advised the police. did. Riley denied yelling at the police or ordering them to leave.

Riley’s lawyer also claimed that Riley couldn’t use his power in the case because it wasn’t an issue before the city council.

“The complaint alleges that the defendant has not acted. [Riley] It was taken with his official qualifications, “said a May 2019 motion to dismiss.

However, in a subsequent submission in December 2019, Riley decided to suspend the proceedings so that he could ask the city of Opalocka to pay attorneys’ fees because he was involved in the actions he took as a commissioner. I asked.

“All three alleged breaches result from the defendant’s service as City Commissioner in January 2017. Riley’s alleged actions are entirely in line with the scope of his duties as City Commissioner. We will do it, “said Riley’s December 2019 complaint.

The city did not accept Riley’s request to pay legal fees.

Riley sought to resolve the issue of failing to disclose 2017 revenue from Gloriette Gardens by amending its financial disclosure in January of this year. Riley’s lawyer, James Gleason, said: New era Riley did not include employment at Garden Apartments because the contract with Garden Apartments ended in early 2017.

After a lengthy trial, on May 21, the Ethics Commission found Riley in breach of two of three charges against him. The Commission will vote on the penalties at the June 9 meeting. The COE can fine government officials found to have violated multiple rules of ethics from $ 500 to $ 2,000.

Greason states that he intends to appeal the conviction to the Third District Court of Appeals.

“I have to appeal. I’ve known him since I was the mayor. He’s one of the public service people who isn’t working for money. He’s one of the serious politicians. Not, ”says Greason.

The clash between consulting and gigs wasn’t the first time Riley was accused of being an elected official in Opalocka.

Riley, who was mayor in the mid-1980s, Bribe of $ 5,000 Residents have criticized the travel allowance for more than $ 11,000. Riley denied the allegations of bribery and was not charged. He defended his spending and said it was necessary for the city’s economic development.

Thirty years later, Riley as City Commissioner in 2018 After that, he sued the government.Rick Scott It was to regain access to his expense account and city cars after Opa-locka realized he was in debt of $ 8 million and was declared in a financial emergency.

Riley’s consulting client, Glorieta Gardens Apartments LTD, has a unique turbulent history in Opalocca.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio Even after the owner received federal funding to repair a Section 8 home, he ordered a real estate owner investigation in 2018 after numerous complaints of a “slum-like” condition. Property Management. the company Said Miami Herald That same year, they welcomed Rubio and his staff to meet in person to address his concerns.

It is unknown if there was such an encounter. But last year, the property owned by Gloriette Gardens was in the news again. Frequent floods During the heavy rain, the tenant was effectively swimming in the apartment.

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Former Opa-locka Commissioner John B. Riley Violated Ethics Code
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