Opa-locka leaders back at work after corruption reports

City officials refuse to comment

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - Days after reports detailing wiretapping, extortion and bribery involving Opa-locka city leaders surfaced, those named in the allegations were still running City Hall and hadn't responded to their constituents. 

The details of the FBI evidence was revealed by The Miami Herald's Jay Weaver and Michael Sallah, who detailed the investigation enveloping the upper echelons of city government, including pay-to-play bribes and extortion involving a commissioner and city manager.

According to the report, some of these incidents were recorded by a businessman wearing a wire for federal agents. 

Some residents said they weren't surprised. 

"If you vote for these people, you get what you asked for," Daphne L. McBride, who watched the raid take place, said.

Another resident echoed those views. 

"Baby, it's been corrupted for the longest time," Joseph Lillard said. "You know, they keep putting the same crooks back in."

City Manager Dave Chiverton is one of those named. He initially agreed to speak privately to Local 10 News and later agreed to appear before a camera. However, he later declined after saying three commissioners ordered him not to speak.

"There is an investigation," he said.

Commissioner Luis Santiago is the one who is reportedly recorded accepting bribes.

Santiago was not at City Hall on Monday, while employees, even the more powerful ones, like the chief of police, focused on their business as usual.

"Everybody here is coming to work," Chief James Dobson said. "Everybody is doing their job."

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