The Real Deal Miami

Proposal to sell Opa-locka site pulled amid ethics probe

Commissioner Barbara Jordan supported selling land to controversial nonprofit for just $10
January 23, 2018 02:45PM

Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan and Opa-Locka City Hall (Credit: Wikipedia and Miami-Dade County)

A nonprofit with an alleged history of not paying its bills may not get the sweet deal it expected on a development site in Opa-locka.

Last week, county commissioner Barbara Jordan requested that EcoTech Visions Foundation, Inc., led by Pandwe Gibson, receive three county-owned properties for just $10. In exchange, the nonprofit would build affordable housing on the lots, which are valued at nearly $200,000, according to Florida Bulldog.

Gibson married Jordan’s political ally, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, four months ago. She also heads the for-profit arm of the foundation, EcoTech Visions Inc.

A Florida Bulldog investigation into EcoTech revealed a few lawsuits, a nearly $100,000 tax deficit in 2015, a $52,500 salary hike for Gibson over 2014 and 2015, and more. The organization has been sued by a former employee for breach of contract, defamation and unjust enrichment. A job placement company also sued EcoTech Visions Inc. for nonpayment alleged and unjust enrichment.

Jordan, who has sponsored workforce housing proposals in the past, did not respond to questions from Florida Bulldog. The commission was set to approve the deal at Tuesday’s commission meeting, but the proposal was not placed on the agenda.

Last summer, the county was asked to respond to a subpoena for records of all affordable housing projects that got funding from a county bond program as part of a federal probe. [Florida Bulldog] – Amanda Rabines