Miami developer Bill Fuller is taking a swing at commissioner Joe Carollo, who has led a “code enforcement crusade” at Fuller’s Little Havana properties.
Fuller, a principal at the Barlington Group, held a press conference outside of Miami City Hall on Thursday displaying poster boards with photos taken outside of the Miami commissioner’s home, and showed Google street view images with new roofs and a banyan tree that was removed. Fuller is alleging that Carollo did the work without permits. He called Carollo a fraud and filed a complaint with the city requesting an investigation into alleged code violations.
“My grandmother used to tell me, ‘People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,’ ” Fuller said, according to the Miami Herald. “Now, you would think that Joe Carollo, after months of attacking us with code violations, would himself have always complied with the city code and have a clean history with no code violations.”
Carollo did not pull permits for work on his Coconut Grove home, and said he didn’t need permits. The banyan tree was diseased, and Carollo cited laws that allow homeowners to make repairs without permits if the repairs cost under $2,000.
The commissioner has sent code enforcement to a majority of properties tied to Fuller, and he has gone on Spanish radio to accuse Fuller of wanting to “de-latinize” Little Havana. He also allegedly pressured a former aide to lie about his interest in code issues on Fuller’s properties. Carollo has even defended his late-night visits to Ball & Chain to find violations.
Last year, Fuller and his business partner Martin Pinilla filed a lawsuit against Corollo in federal court, alleging the commissioner violated their right to free speech, using code enforcement to retaliate against them for supporting his opponent, Alfie Leon, in last year’s election. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis