Troubled affordable housing developer Carlisle Development Group hired a former Miami-Dade County commissioner to help it win lucrative development contracts.
The Miami-based Carlisle hired Barbara Carey-Shuler in 2006, just months after she abruptly resigned from her post as county commissioner. Carlisle paid Carey-Shuler $170,000 between 2006 and 2007, recently released public records show.
Carey-Shuler remains a paid consultant for Carlisle, but told the Miami Herald that she cannot remember taking any payments from Carlisle back in 2006 and doesn’t recall what tasks she may have done for the developer.
“It’s been so long ago. I don’t remember at this point,” the 73-year-old Carey-Shuler said.
She has yet to formally register as a county lobbyist for the developer, according to the newspaper, despite her successor on the Miami-Dade Commission, Audrey Edmonson, telling the Herald that Carey-Shuler had recently lobbied on Carlisle’s behalf.
Carey-Shuler’s attorney, Reginald Clyne, told the Herald that his client had indeed been a longtime consultant for Carlisle for years, and added that she had helped the developer on many of its South Florida affordable-housing projects.
Carlisle — which has been under investigation for defrauding taxpayers — characterized Carey-Shuler as an “ambassador” for Carlisle, telling the newspaper that her consulting work has met the county’s ethics law and helped its community “outreach efforts” to build much-needed low-income apartments.
Miami-Dade commissioners are barred from lobbying county government for two years after leaving office. During that period, ex-commissioners are allowed to consult with companies doing business at county hall, but cannot engage in any kind of lobbying, according to the Herald. [Miami Herald] – Hiten Samtani