Monday, June 13, 2011

Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez stretches credulity to the breaking point

Miami Beach city manager Jorge Gonzalez and Miami Beach police chief Carlos Noriega appeared on Michael Putney's "This Week in South Florida" show Sunday.

The pair were invited on the show to discuss the aftermath of Urban Beach Weekend and the shooting death of a man by 10 police officers on May 30.

You can watch the entire 13 minute interview by clicking here.

Putney begins the interview with the observation that Urban Beach Weekend on Miami Beach is "out of control."

Gonzalez responds to that by telling the first of at least two lies on the show, saying, "Well Michael, I'm not sure that I would characterize it as out of control."

Gonzalez gets paid $247,000+ a year by the city of Miami Beach. You'd think for that kind of money, he would be on the same page as the taxpayers who pay his salary, and who overwhelmingly oppose the damage and turmoil Urban Beach Weekend has been doing to Miami Beach for a decade.

Mr. Gonzalez...if 250,000 people shutting down entire neighborhoods for four days a year and putting residents in fear for their safety isn't out of control, exactly what is it?

But, Gonzalez saves his biggest lie for last.

At about the 11:30 mark of the interview,  Putney asks Gonzalez a direct question about the illegal seizure of a camera from a Channel 10 photographer by a Miami Beach police.

Gonzalez has just listened to Chief Noriaga give detailed explanations as to why it took his department took two days to find a gun in Raymond Herisse's car and why his officers seized a camera from a bystander.

But Gonzalez is in no mood to explain anything. He responds to  Putney's straightforward question by lying through his teeth and telling the veteran reporter, "Michael, that's an issue that's under investigation." Putney, for some reason didn't pursue the matter further. He should have.

Since Putney didn't ask the question Mr. Gonzalez, let me ask it. Just how much more time do you need for your "investigation?"

It was all caught on tape. If you're having trouble finding the officer involved, let me help.

Here's his picture.

And here's his tag number.

Come on Mr. Gonzalez. Cut the crap! Two weeks later and you're still investigating?

How hard is it to find that cop and ask why he illegally seized the camera? Even Barney Fife would have this figured out by now.

No, Mr. Gonzalez, I think most of us recognize a case of stonewalling and outright obfuscation when we see it.

It's time to come clean and start telling the truth. And while you're at it, you might also want to stop talking down to the people you serve.

Do it before it's too late and before you do any more damage to Miami Beach and its already tarnished image.

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