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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Marion Barry South Florida style

His name is Howard Gary and he is readying to make a political comeback.

Howard Gary, the former Miami city manager entangled but never indicted in a sweeping public corruption investigation known as Operation Greenpalm, is once again in the political spotlight.

This time, he's a candidate for the Miami-Dade County Commission.

A decade ago, Gary was confronted with his own alleged wrongdoing in a Miami kickback scheme by the FBI and agreed to turn informant in a separate bribery probe that landed former County Commissioner James Burke in jail.

On Tuesday, Gary filed to run for the District 3 seat that neighbors Burke's old district.

''I'm a public servant. I love Miami,'' Gary said.

Of his involvement in one of the most notorious scandals in local politics, he says: ``It was a mistake. I've said I'm sorry.''
I can forgive you Howard but trust you never. You broke the public trust, and you got no business being in office again.

Gary's rise to political prominence capped a hardscrabble life that began in Harlem. He later lived in the James E. Scott housing projects in Liberty City. After earning a master's degree, he landed a job with the city of Miami in 1976 under then-mayor Maurice Ferré. Gary was named city manager in 1981 -- the first black person to hold the post. He was soon at odds with the mayor and commission, however. In 1984, the commission voted to fire him -- with Ferré casting the deciding vote.


After he was booted from office, Gary turned to the financial world.


In 1996, federal prosecutors unveiled a year of dirty-dealings and kickbacks at Miami City Hall -- a criminal probe that mushroomed into what has been called Operation Greenpalm.

The investigation led to the indictments of then-City Manager Cesar Odio, then-Commissioner Miller Dawkins and lobbyist Jorge de Cardenas in a kickbacks-for-contracts scheme. Dawkins was sentenced to 27 months. Odio and de Cardenas each served one year in prison.

Operation Greenpalm also revealed a stunningly mismanaged city on the brink of financial ruin. Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed an oversight board to help Miami regain its financial health.

The FBI confronted Gary with his alleged role in a bribery scheme involving city officials. Gary agreed to wear a wire as federal authorities turned their attention to county government.

An unwitting Burke was caught on tape discussing the details of kickback schemes with Gary -- and pocketing a $5,000 cash bribe.
Miami-Dade politics has often resembled a banana republic. Gary was clearly a part of it. Miami-Dade voters would be nuts to vote for him.

Then look what DC did with Barry. Why are voter's memories so short that we allow ourselves to be fleeced like this?

I guess you really have to be a masochist to live here.

Hat tip- Stuck on the Palmetto
Open Post- Blue Star, Bullwinkle Blog, Third World County,

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