Open in App
CBS Miami

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez not responding to serious allegations

By Ivan Taylor,


MIAMI - The two-term Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is under scrutiny over a report by the Miami Herald alleging he was paid thousands of dollars for works as a consultant for a developer building a project in city limits.

"The allegations that the Miami Herald is making that the mayor is using his influence in the city of Miami are completely false," told CBS News Miami Soledad Cedro, the Communications Director for Miami Mayor's Office.

We asked Cedro about our news partners reporting – regarding the mayor's work as a consultant.  "The city attorney of the city of Miami (Victoria Mendez) issued a statement saying it was reviewed," said Cedro during the interview.

CBS News Miami's Ivan Taylor asked, "Is there something that stipulates that the mayor can actually work within the municipality and if so can we see it?"

Cedro responded saying, "The technicality of that is a question for the city attorney. I'm not even an attorney so I cannot answer that."

Taylor approached the City Attorney as she was leaving the City Chambers, she avoided CBS News Miami microphones and stormed out of the building without responding any questions.

The Miami Herald reports developer Rishi Kapoor, whose building, a mixed used condo project in Coconut Grove, allegedly hired Suarez for the project as a consultant.

"In this particular case, this company never came in front of the commission, so there was no need for the mayor to recuse himself," said Cedro, responding to whether it was an ethical move.

The Herald reports they learned of the work through a lawsuit involving the former CFO for Location Ventures, alleging they committed "financial improprieties" including $10,000 monthly payments to (Francis) Suarez for "unknown services" without any written agreement

Kapoor's company responded last week denying wrongdoing and asserting that Miami City Attorney Victoria Mendez reviewed and approved the agreement before it was signed.

CBS News Miami asked Cedro if Mayor Suarez charged $10,000 a month – as stated by the alleged investigation by the Herald.  "I am not going to disclose any deals that the mayor has with a client."

Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office was contacted about the Herald's report. The office of Katherine Fernandez-Rundle responded with a statement:

"We have consulted with the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, Jose Arrojo.  We will coordinate our review of the allegations with them.  At this early stage, it is premature for us to opine on the allegations," signed Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment

Comments / 0