Miami Commissioner Responds to Claims She Offered CRA Job in Exchange for Endorsement


James Torres, who unsuccessfully ran for the City of Miami District 2 fee seat, took to the airwaves Friday morning to say incumbent Sabina Covo provided him a job with the City of Miami in change for his endorsement in her upcoming runoff election on November 21.

During an look on the As a result ofMiami podcast, Torres advised host Billy Corben that following the November 7 election, Covo requested him for his assist in her pending runoff towards Damian Pardo, who was additionally in Corben’s studio when the allegations had been lodged.

“I met with Sabina and it was very darkish and grayish in a approach,” Torres alleged. “It was, ‘Hey, I would like your assist? What is it going to take? Can I give you a place on the Omni CRA as a contractor making over $120,000?'”

Torres stated he was shocked by the supply and thought it was a quid professional quo involving the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency. He stated he declined and supported Pardo, consistent with his and Pardo’s pact to again each other ought to considered one of them make it to a runoff. According to Torres, the assembly befell on the Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove shortly after the election.

In an announcement to New Times, Covo says Torres’ claims are “categorically and unequivocally false.”

“At no level by any means did a dialog happen about any employment,” the assertion says. “In reality, the Omni CRA final month employed its new government director, simply to indicate far-fetched the claims are by Mr. Torres. After coming in properly forward of Mr. Torres by 30 factors and him coming in fourth place, he’s busy spreading lies as soon as once more as he did for the reason that first marketing campaign in February.”

Covo, a public relations guide and former TV information anchor, secured her seat on the fee in a February particular election following the resignation of Ken Russell. Torres ran towards Covo within the February race and fell brief in that contest as properly.

Covo says she stays “centered on main a marketing campaign with honesty and integrity and doing the necessary work on behalf of the neighborhood the place I’ve lived for over 20 years and the place I’m elevating my three youngsters.”

Set up in 1987, the Omni CRA is an company tasked with revitalizing neighborhoods and supporting redevelopment tasks in its district, which overlaps with downtown Miami and stretches north to NE twentieth Street.

Torres, director of enterprise administration for Hotwire Communications and president of the Miami Downtown Neighbors Alliance, stated on the podcast that he determined to assist Pardo as a result of he felt their values aligned. Pardo is a monetary adviser and neighborhood activist who based the LGBTQ-rights nonprofit SAVE (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone), in keeping with his marketing campaign profile.

“Damian was the primary one which got here to me not asking for assist, asking how can he assist. That was an thought to me that stated he actually desires to make a distinction for the neighborhood,” Torres stated.

Early voting within the runoff between Covo and Pardo kicked off this morning, shortly earlier than the podcast aired.


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