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Sweetwater Pink Slips Dept. Head As Part Of Project “Clean House”

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Several Sweetwater department heads who had ties to former Mayor Manny Maroño have been fired as part of Mayor Jose Diaz’s “Clean House” project.

Pink slipped were finance director Anny Chez; her husband Guillermo, who was manager of the city’s fleet of vehicles and Joanna Rubio, director of Human Resources, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

Chez was hired in 2012 after he left his job as manager of Southland the Towing Company. The company was linked to the former mayor and operated on a no-contract monopoly basis with the city until last year.  Rubio was Maroño’s godmother.

Also dismissed, according to Miami Herald sources were Luis Quintero, director of Parks and Recreation; Míriam Mallea, a part-time employee in the passport office and Frank Alvarez, a maintenance employee.

In a statement released Monday, Diaz said he wants the city’s government to be transparent.

“I would like to thank all the residents of Sweetwater for their trust and support. Our residents need to know that I maintain a firm commitment to “clean house” so that our city government is transparent and we can be proud of our city.”

Maroño was arrested last August by the FBI on charges of public corruption.  He, along with former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and lobbyists Jorge Forte and Richard Candia, was arrested in August 2013 as part of a FBI sting in which he was accused of taking thousands of dollars in kickbacks through a bogus grant scheme.

Maroño pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison.

In a CBS4 and El Nuevo Herald joint investigation, the questionable activities Maroño was involved in during his time as mayor don’t stop with the corruption charges.

A letter obtained by CBS4 and El Nuevo Herald confirms Maroño helped his friend and former business partner secure a spot as one of the preferred towing companies in Doral.

Click here for the CBS4 and El Nuevo Herald joint investigation.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)

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