MIAMI – Testimony continued on Tuesday in the federal civil trial of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo, who is accused of abusing his power on local businesses.
The jury heard from two former Miami police chiefs, including Art Acevedo, who repeatedly called Carollo “Crazy Joe” and said the commissioner’s disdain for these businessmen was well-known throughout the city.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys tried to paint Acevedo as a disgruntled former city employee with an axe to grind.
Bill Fuller and Martin Pinilla, who own multiple Little Havana properties, are suing Carollo for allegedly abusing his power as a commissioner to target and harass them because they supported Carollo’s political opponent.
The lawsuit states they saw police raids and repeated code inspections, and they even allege Carollo himself made late night visits, looking for violations.
Former Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina testified about an encounter from February of 2019, where the two got heated while talking about a particular unplanned visit to one of the businesses in question.
When Acevedo took the stand, he pulled no punches, referring to Carollo as “Crazy Joe” at least three times while describing what he called the commissioner’s obsession and disdain for Fuller as an open secret in the city.
Carollo could only shake his head as he listened on, and his defense attorneys tried to discredit Acevedo, saying he has a personal vendetta against the city.
The trial is expected to take around two weeks. Testimony will continue on Wednesday.