Margaret Pass, the Coral Gables building and zoning director fired in 2007 after the city arrested her administrative assistant for some bogus employee paycheck scheme and a slew of allegations about theft and misconduct in the department surfaced, is running for a seat on the Port LaBelle Community Development District in Glades County, where she now lives.
It would be her second... er, pass... at the elected office. She lost a bid for the seat in 2006.
Pass was fired from her $122,000-a-year job 13 months after the city began an investigation into claims that she had some of her employees work on her land in Glades County during their public workday and allowed her inner circle to purchase digital cameras and supplies, even art, with the city's accounts. That investigation is still ongoing (Ladra thinks the case is going slow because it is being directed good friends of the former B&Z chief and city manager).
At the threat of a lawsuit, the city settled with Pass for $99,000 in 2009 and changed the data on her personnel folder from terminated to retired. Maybe so it wouldn't turn up when she ran for office? We hope this also means her health has improved (during the trial board/termination appeal process, her attorney requested continuances due to a debilitating illness that prevented Pass from appearing and defending herself appropriately).
Her qualifying papers say her primary source of income is the Coral Gables pension. She also still owns property here, at 1530 San Remo Ave., according to the qualifying papers. According to Miami-Dade property records, it is a 720-square-foot one-bedroom condo purchased in 1995 for $65,000 and worth more than twice that, assessed at $134,000, today.
She also has three properties in Glades County: 2140 Birchwood Parkway, listed as her mailing address, 1810 Cowgirl Way and an unnumbered lot on Mission Lane. She seems to be kicking things up there, going to commission meetings and demanding the city manager be fired, according to published reports found in a google search.
Pass would not return Ladra's repeated calls and emails for comment.
Campaign finance records for the Port LaBelle race are not due until his coming Friday. But Ladra will be watching for it and will let you know if any of Pass' old Gables friends turn up.