In an unusual twist, North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo was the first to break the news that he was under criminal investigation — by posting a video to social media.
Vallejo said in his video that the state attorney’s office is heading the investigation, though he declined to say why he was under scrutiny.
However, Local 10 News reported that the investigation could be linked to a real estate transaction brokered by Allied Florida Group, a firm the mayor’s wife owns. Vallejo was listed as a secretary in corporate documents when the firm was founded in 2015, but was removed within months.
According to state records, he’s also a licensed real estate broker registered with the firm. The news station cited sources who said Vallejo approved tax credits for a client of Allied’s.
“Unfortunately, in a process that is supposed to be confidential, some lobbyists and their political operatives have been spreading malicious gossip to smear my reputation and undermine the tough decisions we’ve had to make to improve our city,” Vallejo said in the video.
North Miami Beach has been a hotspot for new real estate development in the past year, including a new twin-tower condo project called the Marina Palms Yacht Club and Residences, plus attention from New Jersey property mogul Moishe Mana. [Local 10 News] — Sean Stewart-Muniz
— George Vallejo (@MayorVallejo) August 17, 2016