City official sent out controversial email about Walmart

Miami's chief of urban design emailed offensive pictures to dept members

By Ben Candea , Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI - As three Miami commissioners voted Thursday night to approve a Walmart location in midtown, an email from a city official has surfaced that may add more fuel to an already controversial issue.

The email in question was sent by Enrique D. Nuñez, the former City of Miami Chief of Urban Design, and contains what could be considered offensive images of people shopping at Walmart.

Before he resigned his position with the city, Nuñez's email was sent back in March to his colleagues in the Planning & Zoning Department, the group that approved Walmart's application to build in midtown.

"The Latest Walmartians!" is the subject line of the email with Nuñez adding "Coming to Midtown" above a group of pictures taken from the website People of Walmart.

The photos, which have made their way around the Internet for years, are of Walmart customers appearing in compromising attire or positions with captions making fun of the people in the picture.

"It is both embarrassing to us and reprehensible and it certainly does not represent the good work that takes place in the department," said Planning & Zoning Director Francisco Garcia. "Had I been copied on the e-mail, rest assured action would have been taken."

Walmart's application for a midtown location was approved in August, but a battle against the big box retailer has been waged by opponents who believe that the city has allowed Walmart to bypass certain building codes that are currently prohibited.

Three Miami commissioners at Thursday night's meeting voted unanimously and gave the go-ahead for Walmart to build in Midtown Miami.

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