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Miami Mayor Faces Possible Ethics, Campaign Penalties

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Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado denies any knowledge of an alleged bribe made to police Chief Miguel Exposito to leave office.  (Source: CBS4)

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado denies any knowledge of an alleged bribe made to police Chief Miguel Exposito to leave office. (Source: CBS4)

CAMPAIGN 2012
campaign 2012 new2 Miami Mayor Faces Possible Ethics, Campaign Penalties
Legislative Session Coverage

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado could face penalties over irregularities in his 2009 campaign finance reports, but there’s no evidence of a crime.

According to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald, investigators found problems with the way the mayor documented campaign contributions, but did not find any evidence of a crime.

Regalado will likely face ethics violations and civil penalties, according to the Herald.

Regalado and his daughter, Raquel Regalado, the campaign’s treasurer, said they testified separately to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, which was also attended by representatives of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.

FDLE investigators had probed the origins of about $40,000 that appeared in campaign accounts after the deadline for new contributions. Regalado also accepted at least $8,000 in illegal contributions from the Dominican Republic.

Last year, after learning he was under investigation, Regalado reached out to authorities and offered to cooperate. He also hired a well-known criminal defense attorney, Jose Quinon.

Regalado said the investigation found that campaign funds were used appropriately, although many were not properly registered.

Raquel Regalado, a Miami-Dade School Board member, said she and her father were waiting to reach a written agreement with authorities to close the case.

In a separate ethics case, Regalado said he agreed to pay $1,000 in fines to the ethics commission for not properly disclosing the value of his house and personal belongings. The commission opened the case after receiving a complaint in November from blogger Al Crespo, a sharp critic of Regalado’s administration.

In his 2011 financial disclosures, Regalado declared a net worth of $9,300. The disclosure failed to note the value of his Shenandoah home, which according to the county property appraiser is worth $139,085.

Regalado said he did not include a dollar amount because his home’s foundation has suffered so much water damage from a leaky pipe that adjusters told him it would cost more to repair the structure than to tear it down and start over.

The ethics commission will discuss that case Tuesday. Regalado gave El Nuevo Herald a copy of the settlement, which shows he must pay two $500 fines and submit a revised financial disclosure to close the case.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

 

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