Former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez pleads not guilty to battering ex-girlfriend
Police say Alvarez pushed victim against wall, spit at her
MIAMI – Former Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez pleaded not guilty Wednesday to battering his ex-girlfriend.
"We filed a plea of not guilty and a request to review the evidence," attorney Michael Cornley said.
Cornley stood in for the former mayor and police chief's attorney during the hearing. Alvarez was not present in court.
"In the state of Florida, there's a rule that if you have an attorney, you can have your attorney go to court for you except for crucial times," Cornley said. "This is one of the times that the court says that they don't have to go -- they just need to have the attorney present."
According to an arrest report, Alvarez and the victim, Miami-Dade police Lt. Evelyn Fernandez, have been in a relationship for 14 years.
Coral Gables police said Fernandez went to Alvarez's condo on April 23 to return his cat, and the couple got into an argument.
Police said Alvarez grabbed Fernandez by both arms and pinned her against a wall inside the building's parking garage.
According to the report, the former mayor spit at Fernandez while yelling profanities at her.
Alvarez allegedly continued harassing Fernandez after she left, texting her, "I hope you get the worst possible cancer and die a slow miserable death, you evil (expletive)."
Fernandez, who is battling cancer, replied, "Thank you ... I wish you the best."
Fernandez and her teenage daughter told Coral Gables police officers that Alvarez has been abusive toward the victim since 2013.
Fernandez said Alvarez's demeanor changed when he started body building. He competed locally in 2013, which was his last public showing since he was recalled as mayor two years earlier.
Alvarez spoke to the media after bonding out of jail, saying that he would soon tell his full side of the story.
"I'm happy to go home," he said. "Remember, there's two sides to every story."
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