MIAMI – The entrepreneurs behind the former Ball & Chain and Taquerias El Mexicano in Miami’s Little Havana filed a 66-page lawsuit against the city alleging Commissioner Joe Carollo’s campaign of harassment cost them $28 million in losses.
The lawsuit details a series of raids at both establishments on Eighth Street and alleged Carollo manipulated city officials and employees to carry out a witch hunt. The dispute allegedly began after their decision to back Carollo’s political opponent in 2017.
“They are good at writing novels but once they get to the facts, it’s a different story,” Carollo said on Thursday adding that he had yet to read the lawsuit.
Attorneys with Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, a law firm with five offices in Florida, are representing the entrepreneurs Ben Bush, Zack Bush, and Bill Fuller, of Mad Room Hospitality.
Bush and Fuller claim they were the victims of collusion, unlawful shutdowns, unnecessary raids, acts of bad faith, and harassment.
In 2018, Fuller and Martin Pinilla, of the Barlington Group, also sued Carollo in federal court. The city closed Ball & Chain late last year and the lawsuit against Carollo is ongoing.