South Beach nightclub at the heart of the FBI’s bribery stab wound loses proceedings against the city

The judge again dismissed the proceedings filed by the owner of a failed nightclub in the heart of Miami Beach. 2012 FBI blackmail stab wound It led to the arrest of seven city officials.

A 2013 proceeding by former Ocean Drive nightclub owner and FBI informant Heimtagmann sought $ 15 million in damages from the city, with patterns of harassment by crooked city inspectors. He claimed to have led to the closure of his club, known as Chakra 5. Dolce. The proceedings were previously dismissed in 2016, but the appeal overturned the ruling.

On March 30, Judge Mark Bloomstein of the Miami-Dade Circuit Court argued that the city violated due process rights and should be held liable for the 2012 seizure of the venue. I refused and dismissed the proceedings again.

“Plaintiffs do not provide evidence that the city acted deliberately indifferently to its due process rights, or that the city acted as a” driving force for unconstitutional law … “.” Blumstein wrote at his command. “Plaintiffs are only trying to subrogate the city for the illegal activities of certain fraudulent city officials.”

The proceedings also cited seven former city officials as defendants, most of whom did not respond to the process server and defaulted from the proceedings. The city, which is the main subject of the proceedings, expects the club to appeal again to the lower court’s decision.

Still, in the case of Miami Beach City Hall Past few years Have endured one after another Well-known corruption arrest The court order involving city officials was news worth celebrating.

Interim Mayor Raul Aguila issued a statement on Tuesday that the city employs “thousands of honest and hard-working people who serve the community faithfully every day” to handle illicit treatment complaints. Emphasized that he has a fair process. According to city officials.

“We also worked 24 hours a day to ensure that the wrongdoing of several fraudulent employees over a decade ago never happened again, and we continue to do so every day,” Aguila said. ..

Club complaints

Tagman, who opened the club in 2006, Claimed in his legal complaint The club lost income and was unable to pay its mortgage due to harassment from a city inspector who issued a fake quote.

According to court records, in 2011, Tagman fined clubs $ 30,000 with cluttered promotional leaflets unless law enforcement inspectors at Miami Beach paid the inspectors a $ 3,000 bribe. I went to the FBI after saying I threatened to impose.

Following the resulting FBI sting, five code officers and two firefighters were arrested. As a paid informant, Targman worked with an undercover investigator disguised as a club manager to capture a bribe-paying city official.

Criminal accusations suggested that city officials had been bribed for years. In the proceedings, Mr. Targman claimed that the city was unable to formulate policies to prevent employee harassment and blackmail.

Bloomstein, in his order, has not yet identified the single date, time, or situation in which the “inspection” or visit suspected of harassment occurred, or the name of the inspector or city official. I wrote. And if harassment occurred, Targman could have reported it to the city or appealed the issued citation.

Bribes lasted more than a year and a half after Targman stopped paying mortgages at the club, he wrote.

Turgman did not immediately respond to a request for comment made to his lawyer on Tuesday.

“Appropriate procedure”

Rob Rosenwald, Miami Beach’s first assistant to lead the city’s legal defense, issued a statement on Tuesday, when Targman monetized the unfortunate fact that a fraudulent former code compliance officer sought a bribe. I tried. “

“The simple fact is that Mr. Targman’s nightclub failed because he had never run a club in Miami Beach. His first attempt was consistent with the Great Depression that crippled many businesses at the time. I did, “Rosenwald wrote. “The court correctly found that Targman did not provide evidence that the city caused him a loss, and even if it did, the city would allow someone in Targman’s position to correct it. Had proper procedures. Turgman simply couldn’t use them. “

In a memo to the Miami Beach City Commission on Thursday, the city’s attorney Rafael Pass said that since the FBI’s sting, the city has stepped up surveillance of code enforcement and equipped city vehicles with GPS location tracking technology. Code inspectors write that they have requested that they wear a body camera. Interact with the public and record their examination.

In 2019, the Commission established an Inspector General’s Office in the City Hall to eradicate corruption.

“After the 2012 FBI operation that led to the proceedings, the city succeeded in enacting more comprehensive reforms to prevent further allegations of code compliance or fire department inspectors’ bribery or other illegal activity.” The path writes.