MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami-Dade County ethics commission charged Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez Wednesday with lying about loans he made to a convicted Ponzi schemer.
According to CBS4’s news partners at the Miami Herald, three members unanimously charged Hernandez with violating the Citizen’s Bill of Rights when he “knowingly furnished false information on a public matter” at a press conference during his mayoral campaign on October 13, 2011.
The loans, the paper reports, totaled $180,000.
Hernandez did not attend the hearing Wednesday but did issue a statement, in Spanish, condemning the ethics commission.
“The ethics commission is a political organization,” Hernandez said in his statement the Herald reports. “They are not prosecutors and the commission is not a law enforcement agency. The decision made today does not surprise me, since I have publicly confronted this commission to raise awareness and bring light to the political interests that dominate the organization.
“The actions of the ethics commission resemble a Roman circus,” the mayor added. “They need to create controversy where none exists to justify their own existence and the misuse of $1.9 million of taxpayers’ money used for their paychecks.”
Hernandez faces as much as $1,500 in fines. If they are paid, they will be heard at a mini-trial still to be scheduled.
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