OPA LOCKA (CBSMiami) – Opa Locka mayor Myra Taylor remains on the job, but her husband, her son and her sister face possible jail time after they were charged with political corruption in the campaign that put Taylor in office. The arrests are the latest legal problems for the Mayor and her family.
Miami-Dade police charged John Taylor, Mayor Taylor’s husband. Demetrius Taylor, her son, and Elvira Smith, her sister, with 4 felony counts and one misdemeanor related to an alleged scheme to funnel money to the Mayor’s 2010 election campaign through 2 family owned business, and to later attempt to cover up illegal campaign contributions by faking documents.
Myra Taylor was elected Mayor in November 2010, and shortly thereafter, according to a statement by the Miami-Dade police public corruption unit, investigators were tipped off about alleged irregularities in the campaign.
A multi-agency investigation resulted in claims that the Mayor’s family members caused over $6 thousand in illegal campaign contributions were funneled through two companies they owned or controlled. Local campaign contributions cannot exceed a maximum of $500.
Police said a search warrant uncovered documents that showed the Mayor’s husband and son conspired to fake invoices to cover up the true source and use of the money.
Wednesday, police charged the Mayor’s family members with:
➢ Making Campaign Contributions in Excess of $500 (3rd Degree Felony)
➢ Accepting Campaign Contributions in Excess of $500 (3rd Degree Felony)
➢ Evidence Tampering (3rd Degree Felony)
➢ Conspiring to Violate the Elections Code (3rd Degree Felony)
➢ Conspiracy to Tamper with Evidence (1st Degree Misdemeanor)
Mayor Taylor was not charged, and it’s not known if investigators believe she knew of or had a part in the alleged violations, but the mayor is no stranger to legal problems.
Taylor was suspended from office in 2004 after she was indicted on felony charges of defrauding the Internal Revenue Service through her Vankara schools, the same schools allegedly used in the current scheme. Taylor pleaded guilty in 2005 to a misdemeanor charge, Opa Locka voters returned her to city hall as a vice mayor in 2008. Despite her conviction, she was elected Mayor by voters in 2010.