Hearing held over ethics complaint

Frank Carollo accused of exploiting his official position

MIAMI - An ethics complaint filed against Miami City Commissioner Frank Carollo alleges that he called Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa after he was pulled over in August 2012.

"I will continue to do the work of the city of Miami. Even though this is a distraction, I will continue to work for my community," said Carollo.

The Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust found probable cause last November that Carollo exploited his official position by making that phone call. An investigation found that after Carollo called Orosa, the police chief called the area commander, who then told dispatchers to have the officer call him. The officer let Carollo go with a warning.

Orosa and the officer who warned Carollo testified during a hearing Tuesday. Both said Carollo didn't ask for an explicit favor.

"I did not gather from the phone call that he was expecting something special," said Orosa. "I think that's what the commission is here for, trying to figure out what was going through his head and what was going through my head."

The officer said letting Carollo go was his decision.

"Would it be fair to say the fact that the sort of the top brass in the department got involved in this car stop, was that one of the factors you considered?" asked Michael Murawski, a member of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust.

"Of course it is," answered the officer. "It would enter my mind."

Joe Centorino, the director of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust, said they can find evidence of an implicit request in different ways.

"It can come in form of direct eyewitness testimony, it can come in the form of documentary evidence, it can come in the form of circumstantial evidence," he said.

Carollo is schedule to testify when the hearing continues.

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