MIAMI – Commissioner Joe Carollo said he is worried about Miami’s nightlife now including secretive pop-up clubs that operate illegally without an alcohol license.
On Thursday, Carollo pointed at pictures that he said showed a club’s “disgusting kitchen,” and a room with a small bed and a camera.
“It seems it was being used to film some kind of pornography at the same time,” Carollo said.
Miami commissioners voted on Thursday in favor of an ordinance to fine the illegal clubs $1,000 per day, and repeat offenders $5,000 per day. Carollo said that’s not enough. He wants to criminalize illegal nightclubs.
“We want to make sure that these people know that if they stay in the city of Miami, jumping from place to place, they’re going to pay a price,” Carollo said.
Carollo and Commissioner Alex Díaz de la Portilla, former allies, are now at odds with each other.
Also last month, Art Noriega, the city manager, opened an investigation into a complaint by Suzann Nicholson, a veteran code enforcement officer.
Nicholson was part of a team that was responding to pop-up nightclubs at warehouses on Feb. 21 in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood.
Miami police officers’ bodycam video shows Nicholson and Díaz de la Portilla had a verbal exchange over a crackdown at a warehouse, at 772 NW 22 St., just west of Wynwood.
“I guess he’s representing the face of the city with the unlicensed activities,” Nicholson said in the video.
Miami-Dade County was enforcing a midnight curfew at the time to help prevent community spread of the coronavirus. Licensed bars and nightclubs were closed. Mayor Daniella Levine Cava canceled the curfew starting April 12.
Díaz de la Portilla, who code enforcement officers reported was in violation of the curfew at the illegal party, denied any wrongdoing.
Warehouse allegedly used for pop-up nightclub