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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.

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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.

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“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.

(©2015 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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