At least two other Miami Beach city employees – unnamed and yet to be charged – are involved to some extent in the bribery scandal in which 7 city code compliance and fire inspectors were busted by the FBI earlier this month.
The criminal complaint filed against the seven in federal court by the U.S. Attorney for Miami refers to two City of Miami Beach employees – identified only as “MBE1” and “MBE2” – who had dealings with some of the key figures in the complaint.
During a June 20, 2011, meeting with the nightclub owner he was allegedly extorting, lead code compliance administrator Jose Alberto proposed to help settle the owner’s outstanding tax debt with the city by hooking him up with a city employee (“MBE1”) who “might be able to help with the old tax debt,” according to the federal affidavit. Alberto provided the owner with that employee’s phone number and added that he would call “MBE1” to say that the owner would be calling.
A week later, according to the complaint, Alberto and the nightclub owner again discussed “MBE1” and the text debt. When the owner, under the direction of FBI undercover agents, suggested he would “take care” of “MBE1” by offering him bribe money, Alberto rejected the suggestion because “he’s by the book.”
“Don’t even tell him that you are meeting with me,” Alberto responded.
The complaint does not describe what eventually occurred with the text debt or what role, if any, “MBE1” played in the bribery case.
Another city employee – “MBE2” – is described as having played a more involved role in the scandal. In a Sept. 16, 2011, encounter between city fire inspector Chai Footman and an undercover agent posing as the nightclub’s manager, Footman offers that he knows a city employee who could help the club in obtaining an outdoor sign permit.
The agent posing as the club manager later contacted, met with, and gave a $250 cash pay-off to “MBE2” to obtain the permit, according to prosecutors.
Their complaint also does not divulge information about the complete role that “MBE2” played in the case, nor what, if any, action may be taken against that employee.