MIAMI – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s former communications director is charged with several felonies, including computer pornography and promoting sexual performance by a child.
While the mayor has released a written statement, he hasn’t spoken on-camera about the issue and, on Thursday, he avoided talking about it when one of his longtime rivals brought it up at City Hall.
“You’re the only one that’s been sitting up there trying to influence this body constantly at the same time that you want to be exempt from the Sunshine Law,” Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo said.
“I’m not going to sit here and allow you to tell me when and how to do my job and where to do it and how to do it,” Suarez responded.
Thursday’s commission meeting was the first since the arrest of the mayor’s former communications director, Rene Pedrosa.
Police said Pedrosa invited a teenager to his office, inappropriately touched the child and sent the child a picture of a penis.
“If you would have presented this same attitude, this macho type attitude that you’re trying to present today, maybe you wouldn’t have the mess that you have on the second floor with your esteemed former adviser, communications director Mr. Pedrosa,” Carollo said.
Meanwhile, Carollo is facing his own controversy.
Political committee “Take Back Our City” is working to collect more than 1,500 signatures to recall Carollo, whom they accuse of abusing his power, breaking promises and lying.
“You’re already trying to recall me,” Carollo told the mayor.
“I’m not trying to recall you,” Suarez responded.
“Of course you are,” Carollo said.
“No, but I will eventually,” Suarez responded. "I may have to join that effort. Because you’re more concerned about arguing with me and debating with me all day long and trying to manage and run the meeting and take over the city than you are doing the work of the people that are here.”
“Take Back Our City” is aiming to get those 1,500 signatures within the next 30 days.