Miami commissioners spar, then take action over no-show employee

Local 10 News' investigation into a no-show employee planted by a City of Miami commissioner has led to action from other commissioners.

MIAMI – City of Miami commissioners sparred Thursday night over allegations that a city employee planted in her role by a commissioner 11 months ago has never shown up to work. And then they took action.

The heated exchange followed an investigation by Local 10 News that Jenny Nillo was being paid as an employee of the Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency while allegedly doing personal bidding for Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed it is investigating the situation.

“No one in the Omni CRA would see Jenny Nillo, that’s the problem,” District 3 Commissioner Joe Carollo said in the meeting.

“That is a lie. No, no, no, that is a lie,” Diaz de la Portilla responded.

Commissioners ultimately passed a vote to prevent anyone who is on probation to be employed with the city. That means Nillo — who was quickly hired to Diaz de la Portilla’s office Tuesday after being fired by the CRA — is out. She is on probation after serving time in federal prison for her role in a 2017 mortgage fraud scheme, for which she pleaded guilty

And as for Diaz de la Portilla’s position as chair of the Omni CRA, commissioners voted he will be replaced by District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell.

State investigators have already begun their investigation, reviewing hours of surveillance video from the CRA, the office where the CRA director said Nillo hardly showed up.

Local 10 News has also learned that state investigators are looking into allegations Nillo did personal work for Diaz de la Portilla in a city car — a car that she was pulled over in during a traffic stop last week.

“What is a lie is that no one has seen Jenny Nillo. Jenny Nillo has been to my office every day and sometimes on the weekends,” Diaz de la Portilla said in the commission meeting.

He and Carollo continued to go back and forth.

“You’re not judge, jury and executioner,” Diaz de la Portilla said.

To which Carollo responded: “And neither are you.”

“If there is a fact a moment, evidence that she has done something wrong, I am with you. But you don’t know that,” Diaz de la Portilla said.

About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."