Scandal-ridden Opa-Locka in default, city hall in jeopardy

Default declaration comes amid expansive FBI corruption probe into city operations

Aug.August 30, 2016 12:00 PM

The embattled city of Opa-Locka reportedly has a new financial woe to contend with: defaulting on millions of dollars in loans that were used to purchase City Hall.

According to the Miami Herald, Opa-Locka’s main lender, City National Bank of Florida, recently declared the city to be in default on $8.2 million worth of loans covering its 82,000-square-foot government center after failing to meet lending agreements.

The bank recently sent a harshly worded letter to city officials citing a series of troubling signs from Opa-Locka as reasons for the default, ranging from its alleged insolvency to Gov. Rick Scott recently declaring a financial emergency, the Herald reported.

City National also chided Opa-Locka for failing to reveal financial documents so the bank could review the city’s financial status, despite weeks of requests.

As a result of the default, the lender could seize future tax revenues from Opa-Locka to cover the debt, according to the Herald.

Opa-Locka has been mired in a massive FBI corruption probe that saw the arrests of City Manager David Chiverton and Public Works Supervisor Gregory Harris over bribery allegations. Commissioner Terence Pinder, who also faced charges, died after he crashed his car into a tree in May. [Miami Herald]Sean Stewart-Muniz

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