Friday, September 9, 2011

Alcaldito's candidacy could be cut

On the eve of the grand opening for the West 12th Avenue campaign headquarters he shares with three of the four council incumbents (more on that later) on the November Hialeah elections, there appears to be a question as to whether Hialeah Alcaldito Carlos Hernandez can even run in the mayoral race.

Oh, Hernandez qualified by Friday's deadline. Problem is, he forgot to resign his position as councilman, the seat to which he was elected and the reason why he became the alcaldito when former mayor Julio Robaina resigned to run for the county job, which he failed to get. According to the much-discussed "Resign to Run" state law, he has to resign the seat at least 10 days before he qualifies (though he can leave Oct. 31; his mentor/master Robaina made his exit effective the day before the primary). Former Mayor Raul Martinez, who did really qualify for the mayor's race along with former State Sen. Rudy Garcia, asked about it at City Hall when he filed his documents. I would have loved to be there to see the look on City Clerk David Concepcion's face when Martinez -- who said he went to court over the issue in 1981 -- immediately called City Attorney Bill Groddnick to confirm that Hernandez was required to resign to run. But Groddnick tap-danced instead.

He danced with me, too, quoting a city charter chapter that holds that Hernandez did not have to resign from a seat he no longer held. "He is the mayor," Grodnick said. "This was a permanent vacancy. When Julio Robaina resigned, he automatically became the mayor. Not acting mayor. Not temporary mayor. He became mayor."

But Ladra is pretty sure that if Hernandez had decided not to run for mayor now and wanted his bird-in-hand council seat back, he would have a right to his elected seat, despite what the city attorney says. Because the charter is sort of vague when it says the mayor's permanent "vacancy shall be filled with the person holding the office of council president, who shall exercise all authority of the office of mayor and shall perform the duties and assume the responsibilities of that office and shall become mayor and serve out only that portion of the former mayor's term that precedes the next regularly scheduled municipal election." Did you catch only that portion? Upon which time, the council president could, one presume, return to his rightfully-elected post. Especially since Interim Councilman Pablito "Huh" Hernandez is a temporary appointment, according to the city charter (yes, Bill, see how I can read it, too). Because, the very next chapter says that if a permanent vacancy results from "death, resignation, recall, court order or other lawful action" then he is appointed as councilman. But since Hernandez never resigned, then he is acting councilman. And since Hernandez never resigned his council seat, what's to stop him from getting it back after he loses in November? Which is exactly the kind of backdoor safety net the state legislature wanted to end that led to the state law, which last time Ladra checked, supersedes municipal ordinances.

Ladra thinks that Hernandez, who has proven already to be not so bright, simply messed up. And Grodnick, who has proven already to be not so honest, is simply covering up. In fact, it's sorta his job. The city attorney has to protect the city's best interest, that includes the mayor du jour. But Grodnick got caught with his pants down (that's how it is apparently officially said around these parts) and now is pointing at the ceiling so you don't look at his skinny, bare thighs. Well, don't blame me Bill if I try to get a second opinion from some real attorneys who will defend the law and the process, not the politician. Is there a constitutional attorney in the house? Ladra needs an independent legal opinion. Stay tuned to the latest plot twist in As Hialeah Churns.

Because this also presents an interesting possible scenario. Say Hernandez cannot run, that his qualification, without that resignation, is null and void. (No, really. Go ahead and say it out loud. It feels good, right?). He has to be gone from the 4th floor office by Nov. 1, but he can go back to being a councilman after either Garcia or Martinez are elected. Because, c'mon, who is George "Who?" Castro, and with a name like that how can he expect to get elected to anything in Hialeah, of all places? Actually, it could be fun to see Hernandez up there with either of the two -- though Martinez makes it much more merry. Then, there's the domino effect: No race in Pablito's prestado Group 6 seat and he and the candidates who qualified to challenge him -- former Hialeah water department customer service employee "Ditzy" Daisy Castellanos and Sweetwater Mayor Manny Marono's former chief of staff Frank "Sinatra" Lago, whose blue eyes and GQ looks are a political operative's dream -- could be up a campaign without a ballot. Could Lago sue if this moron mayor's mistake costs him his first and oh-so-coveted elected office? This seat is his for the taking and he might be a little upset if he's left out of the race after he resigned his $70,000 a year job in Sweetwater to run. And after talking with him for a bit Friday, and watching him play well with others (more on that later), Ladra may be a little upset, too. Even though I still don't like all his past political pals, Lago -- who lost a bid in May to replace Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo in the state legislature -- looks more and more like a good turn for Hialeah, especially in that race.

But the disappointment, I admit, would not be big enough to overshadow the pure joy it will give Ladra to see Hernandez shut out of the mayor's race (read: Robaina shut out of City Hall).


  1. Elaine below is the state statute:

    I am not a lawyer, however, my situation in life and law school aspirations have led me on a path of continual litigation. The way I read the state statute I believe Mr. Hernandez did not comply and should be disqualified.

    This upsets me on a personal level. What would a campaign be without fireworks? Whatever your opinion of both men is, we must all admit it is fun watching the verbal UFC that a contentious local election can become. Then again if Mr. Hernandez is disqualified and is allowed to keep his council president seat, an interesting scenario would develop. If this happens and Mr. Martinez manages to beat out Mr. Rudy Garcia every other Tuesday will continue to be a free show at City Hall.

    I have attached the state statute so a real lawyer can look at it without searching. Hopefully we can get a clear answer soon by a REAL lawyer please. I say that because even Julio Robaina or Carlos Hernandez does not trust the ramblings of the city attorney. This is evidenced by the hiring of hired gun William Radford at a significant hourly rate for all meaningful litigation.

    99.012 Restrictions on individuals qualifying for public office.—

    (2) No person may qualify as a candidate for more than one public office, whether state, district, county, or municipal, if the terms or any part thereof run concurrently with each other.

    (3)(a) No officer may qualify as a candidate for another public office, whether state, district, county, or municipal, if the terms or any part thereof run concurrently with each other, without resigning from the office he or she presently holds.

    (b) The resignation is irrevocable.

    (c) The written resignation must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the first day of qualifying for the office he or she intends to seek.

    (d) The resignation must be effective no later than the earlier of the following dates:

    1. The date the officer would take office, if elected; or

    2. The date the officer's successor is required to take office.

  2. Raul you have really turned into a pussy!!!! Go ahead and try your luck with Carlos!!! He will put you in retirement forever!
    Elaine will see you Tuesday, loser

  3. This is great. I love the high level of intelligence our so called Mayor has, as per our city attorney. Man we are in trouble. I would love to see what happens with this new juice of a news. Carlitos is not going to do anything, I dont like Raul but we have your back for this.

  4. I think you all need to check this out


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